Biryani and More


Hydrabadi Cuisine


Hydrabadi Kachi Biryani

Chicken Biryani

Veg Biryani

Double Ka Meetha

Biryani and Pulao

Biryani, in its simplest form is a preparation in which rice and meat/vegetables are cooked together in a sealed container over very slow flame.

Biryani is an aromatic and rich rice-based food made with spices and meat/vegetables that is cooked on very slow flame in a sealed container (known as Dum).

It was brought to India by Taimur- in 14th century. And gradually, combined with the Indian Pulao and sometimes considered to be of Indian origin.

This is a wonderful aromatic preparation where each grain of the finest long – grained Basmati rice has its individual fragrance. The spices and condiments used in biryani includes ghee, saffron, cumin, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaves, coriander, mint leaves, ginger, onions, and garlic. For a non-vegetarian biryani, the main ingredient that accompanies the spices is the meat— chicken, goat, lamb, or sea foods. The dish may be served with Raita, korma or curry.

Dum Pukt

Dum Pukht is described as maturation of dish with the entrapped steam in a sealed container. There are two aspects of this style of cooking- bhuno and dum. The main ingredient is partially cooked with other ingredients and some other ingredients are added at the time of sealing.

The technique is very old. Traditionally dum pukht cooking uses a round, heavy – bottom pot/handi in which food is tightly sealed and cook over slow fire. To ensure even heat from top and bottom, some coals are placed on the lid. The container is sealed traditionally with a dough that is spread over the container, like a lid, to seal the foods. This is known as a purdah (veil), but on cooking, it becomes a bread which has absorbed the flavours of the food and the two are best eaten together.

Dum Pukht food is about aroma, there are some fresh spices and herbs,used for flavouring and the food is cooked in its own juice. So, the delicacy retains all the flavour and aroma and when the seal is broken the fragrance of the dish floats in the air.

Pulao, is a dish in which rice is sauteed or browned in oil, and then cooked in a seasoned liquid. Depending on the local cuisine, it may also contain a variety of meat and vegetables.

Difference between Biryani and Pulao

Pulao is made by cooking the ingredients together, Biryani is used to denote a dish where the rice is first cooked separately them layered and cooked/matured on low flame with other ingredients.

Apart from this there are several differences between Biryani and Pulao:

                                                          Biryani                                                                      Pulao

Layers                       Biryani generally has layers                                                Pulao does not have layer

Rice           Rice is cooked ¾ separatelly, then layered and dum cooked             Rice is sauteed with    ingredients and cooked together.

Richness                        Biryani is very rich compared with pulao                   Pulao is comparatively light.

Cooking technique                                It is cooked by DumPukt           It is sauteed then cooked by absorption method.

Time of preparation              Biryani takes more time to prepare.                Pulao takes less time to prepare.

Aroma and Nutrition            Biryani is more aromatic and nutritious                  It is comparatively less aromatic and nutritious.

Pilaf are similar to pulao. This is common to Middle Eastern, Central and South Asian, East African, Latin American, and Caribbean cuisines.

Kacchi Biryani
Kacchi Biryani is a special preparation, popular in Hydrabad, of the dish which is cooked with both chicken and mutton with the latter being the more popular variety. The dish is cooked with the meat at the bottom of the with a thick layer of rice on top, the rice and meat are mixed before serving. A boiled egg, mixed salad and raita accompanies the kacchi biryani.

Chicken Biryani

Ingredients

Chicken 600 gm

Basmati Rice 400 gm

Onions 100 gm

Ginger Garlic Paste 50 gm

Curd 400 gm

Saffron ½ gm

Milk 2 tbsp

Coriander Leaves 25 gm

Mint leaves 25 gm

Red Chilli Powder 1 tsp

Salt to taste

Ghee 100 gm

Whole garam Masala

Small Cardamom 5 no

Large Cardamom 2 no

Cloves 8 no

Cinamon Sticks 2 inches

Bay leaves 2 no

Mace a pinch

Preparation

Clean and cut the chicken into pieces pick wash and soak the rice. Slice the onion and chop the mint and coriander leves

Boil some water in a handi add salt whole garam masala a spoon of ghee. Now add the soaked rice and drain when it is ¾ done

Kneade some flour to make a daugh. Soak the saffron in warm milk

Cooking

Heat ghee in the handi add the whole garam masala, let it crackle add the onions and sauté till golden brown in colour now add the ginger garlic paste and stir for some time.

Add the chicken pieces and stir fry for some time, now aad the curd and stir.

Add some water, bring it to boil and simmer till it is ¾ done

Layering

In a heavy bottom handi spread the rice top it with some of the partial cooked chicken sprinkle the coriander mint leaves and whisked curd-saffron .then spred the rice over the chicken. Repeat the process once again.

Seal it with the purdah (rolled dough).

Maturation

Put this handi on dum for 20-30 min and allow it to mature.

Dishing technique

Ideally, the biryani should be served in the same handi in which it has been matured (dumpukht). But it can be portion in individual plates and garnished with fried onions and serve accompanied with raita.

Double Ka Meetha

Ingredients

Bread Slices (Bouble Roti) 08 No

Ghee for frying

Milk 2.5 lit.

Sugar 400 gm

Saffron ½ gm

Cardamom Powder ¼ tsp

Pistachio 5 gm

Almonds 10 gm

Silver varq 8 small pieces

Preparation

Boil the milk in a thick-bottomed pan and reduces to half its original volume. Stir frequently to prevent from burning the milk. When it is done add little sugar, cardamom & saffron, mix well and remove from the fire.

Prepare sugar syrup with the remaining sugar and keep a side.

Cut the crusts off from the slices of bread.

Cooking

Heat the ghee on a medium flame. Deep fry the pieces of bread in it till they are crisp and golden brown in colour. Drain on kitchen paper. Then dip them in the sugar syrup. Now arrange the bread pieces on a tray/ serving plate top with the thickened milk mixture (Rabri).

Dishing Technique

Garnish the dish with the Silver varq, Pistachios and Almonds.

Text for Reference –

Hydrabad

Location

Hyderabad - The capital of Andhra Pradesh, located on the Deccan Plateau in the southern part of India. It is closely linked with Secunderabad, and these two are called as 'Twin cities'. A man made lake, known as the Hussain Sagar Lake, separates the two cities.

Characteristics

• Rice is the staple diet, but wheat is also consumed and meat is a part of almost every meal.

• The salient features of Hyderabadi food are the key flavours of coconut, tamarind, peanuts and sesame seeds.

• The food is Fiery hot and oily, because of chillies, that are used in abundance and the oil literally floats on the top.

• The cuisine draws its flavour from two rich legacies - the Deccani cuisine of Nizams with its delectable biryanis, haleem kebabs etc and the Andhra style of food, laced with mustard, garlic and chillies and eaten with chutney and pickle.

• Hyderabad food is basically non- vegetarian, but it also boasts for a wide range of traditional vegetarian dishes, which are tempting to the core.

History and Influences

It is inspired by the Mughlai cuisine.Thus, the Hyderabadi cuisine is a perfect amalgamation of the typical Mughlai flavors with a blend of rich spices.

It was the capital of the largest semi – autonomous state, ruled by nizam, till it was merged with the independent country in 1948.

Ingredients and spices used

Hydrabadi believes to use the best ingredients and utmost attention is given to selection of the right kind of spices, meat, rice etc.The addition of a certain herb, spice, condiment, coconut, tamarind, peanuts and sesame seeds or combination of all these add a distinct taste and aroma.

The use of ingredients is carefully chosen and cooked to the right degree and time.

Some of the ingredients of the traditional recipes are kept secret and are only known to the subsequent generations of the royal cooks.

Cooking style

Slow-cooking is the hallmark of Hyderabadi cuisine. There is a saying in Hyderabad, cooking patiently or ithmenaan se is the key. Hyderabad cuisine is highly influenced by the native Andhra food where rice and spices are widely used to great effect. Traditional utensils made of copper, brass, earthen pots are used for cooking. The cuisine is linked to the nobles, who religiously maintain the authenticity of the past, and the recipes are a closely-guarded secret. The royal cooks are known as Khansamas, highly regarded by the nobles. Shahi Dastarkhan is the dining place, where food is served and eaten.

Specialities

Biryani

It is the aromatic long grained basmati rice cooked with mutton or chicken pieces. These meat pieces add a flavor of their own to the preparation.

Kababs

It is marinated meat/vegetable, cooked in different styles.

Kormas

Meat or vegetables preparation which is cooked in a pale but rich & creamy gravy.

Lukhmi

It is a Hydrabadi snacks that is actually a pastry, filled in center with spiced minced meat and deep fried.

Methi Murg

It is a chicken preparation with fresh fenugreek leaves.

Haleem

Haleem is made from pounded wheat and mutton. This is cooked together then make to paste.

Nahari

A stew made from lamb’s trotters.The stock is allowed to simmer through out the night and finished with a special combination of spices in the morning.It is taken in breakfast with sheermal.



Roomali Roti

It is a bread as thin as a handkerchief. Roomali Roti is shaped without rolling on a board and cooked on a convex iron griddle; this bread is an excellent accompaniment for delicate kebabs and kormas.

Bagara Baingan

A rich spicy preparation of brinjals flavoured with peanuts, sesame seeds, tamarind and curry leaves.

Mirch-ka-salan

It is a preparation of chillies in a creamy gravy,that is made with the addition of curd/ tamarind, sesame seeds and nuts.

Tomato Qoot

It is an aromatic puree of tomato, cooked with flavorings like potli ka masala, Roasted channa dal, onions, ginger garlic.

Dahi Vada

This is basically Deep fried dumplings made from urad dal paste, served in Yoghurt sauce with some choices of chutnies.

Double-ka-Meetha

A bread pudding prepared with fried bread slices, sugar, syrup, khoya, cardamom, pistas, rasins and is covered with raisins.

Qubani-ka-Meetha

It is a stewed apricot dessert with cream and sugar and garnished with almonds.

Ande-ka-Piyosi

It isa baked preparation, made with eggs, khoya, ghee, sugar and sprinkled with almonds & pistachios.

Badam-ki-Jhal

It is famous sweet made with almonds. It like a round sandwich made with marzipan and top layer is covered with silver varq.

Dil-e-Firdaus

A rich, milk-based sweet also has doodhi, kjhoya and sugar.It is the widely eaten desserts and means Sweet from sugar.

Ashrafi

These are coin shaped sweets made from Khoya. Previously it was used to have a print of Nizam’s gold coin.

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