Once Upon a Biryani: On a binge fest inside the Capital

When you believe you studied in Delhi and its rich legacy of Mughlai cuisine, you can now not think about biryani. Long grains of rice are cooked on dum with fragrant yakhni, dry culmination, and kewda served with raita and pickles or eaten on their own. Quintessentially a Persian import, biryani is now in many variations. The dish derives its name from the Persian phrase biriyani, which translates to ‘fried before cooking,’ relating to the golden fried onion rings. Veteran chef Ghulam Qureshi says, “It isn’t always simply the coaching that matters; there’s also a manner to serve biryani. No grain of rice must ruin while serving biryani.”

Tracing the adventure of biryani, chef Osama Jalali says, “Initially, it didn’t have any spice in it. There is also a concept, approximately Isfahani biryani, that didn’t have rice in any respect. Brown-fried onion and pieces of meat were served on bread. It became in India that rice was brought to it. Pilaf was once made with rice, but the two got mixed collectively as it reached India, and we were given biryani.”

Shedding some mild on exclusive sorts of biryanis made in India, he says, “Awadhi biryani is essentially yakhni pulao, and while Nawab Wajid Ali Shah went to Kolkata, the chefs added potato to it. Rice is boiled in yakhni water; everything is mixed and cooked on dum. Hyderabadi biryani isn’t a Mughlai instruction; it is a Nizami coaching. It is referred to as kaccha gosht ki biryani wherein the meat is cooked first with masalas; then rice is layered on top of it.”

The biryanis available in Delhi have an Uttar Pradesh effect, and green chilies and achaar are completely recent, says Jalali. “In Old Delhi, they serve haleem biryani. It originated in Meerut and ultimately got here to Delhi. Also, biryani is made with basmati rice; however, it’s miles being made with sold rice in most places in the town. This is a corruption of the dish,” he says. Biryani is an avenue food specialty within the town, and you could have your fill even on a shoestring price range.

A candy and savory biryani

If you’re in the mood to tickle your taste buds with authentic-blue Mughlai biryani preparations, then appearance no further than Pehelwan Biryani in Chitli Qabar Bazar. Priced at ₹one hundred twenty/kg, these biryanis are a labor of love. “We prepare dinner biryani in dum style, and it takes one hour for guidance. We have namkeen biryani made with mutton and masala biryani made with gram molasses and served with a pickle. There is also candy and salty biryani made with sugar.

In elements of UP, biryani is served with raita, chutney, and so on. But this is Dilli ki biryani, a pure Mughlai guidance which is flavourful on its very own,” says proprietor Haji Mohammad Anwar. Started by his father Haji Mohammad Asghar in 1947, the shop is continually teeming with customers. When asked approximately the price at which the biryanis go, he says, “Everything is cheaper here. This becomes the primary town; they used to name it Shehar,” he provides. And just like the Walled City, the store additionally in no way takes an off day.

Half boiled, half of the dum biryani.

Loaded with khada masalas and the dry result, the biryanis available at Dil Pasand Biryani Point pull crowds from Old Delhi and other city components. “We use cooking techniques—1/2 boil and 1/2 dum,” says proprietor Mohammad Taufeeq, who started the store in 1997 after transferring here from Meerut. The masalas encompass the meat, onions, garlic, and spices, all of which can be cooked in a separate death (cauldron). The half of boiled rice is then layered on the pinnacle of the masala and cooked on dum. Only buff and bird biryani are to be had here, served at ₹one hundred sixty/kg. As we set out to flavor and test the biryani, the prepared dinner piles our plate with chunks of meat. He also refused to take cash and bid us farewell with a grin. This type of ad is tough to discover everywhere else in Delhi.

Adding the biriyani to biryani

Outside Gate Number 2 of Jama Masjid, many shops and small establishments sell biryani. It is right here at Haji Nadeem’s store that we get to see the celebrity factor of biryani, the one component from which biryani receives its call—biriyani. Golden brown jewelry of fried onion served with a steaming plate of biryani isn’t observed at maximum biryani shops. “We make biryani with yogurt and biryani and use seal chawal. Our boneless bird biryani is served at Rs 200/kg, and buff biryani is for ₹a hundred and twenty/kg,” says Nadeem.


I love cooking and eating food. I always look for new recipes, new foods, and new restaurants. I just love food! My goal is to post interesting and delicious food and share recipes with the world. I have a passion for all types of food; especially Asian cuisine.