Hyderabadi biryani

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Hyderabadi biryani
Hyderabadi biryani
Place of originIndia
Region or stateHyderabad
Associated cuisineIndian
Main ingredients

Hyderabadi biryani (also known as Hyderabadi dum biryani) is a style of biryani originating from Hyderabad, Telangana, India made with basmati rice and meat (mostly mutton). Originating in the kitchens of the Nizam of Hyderabad, it combines elements of Hyderabadi and Mughlai cuisines. Hyderabad biryani is a key dish in Hyderabadi cuisine and it is so famous that the dish is considered synonymous with the city of Hyderabad.


Hyderabad was conquered by the Mughals in the 1630s, and ruled by its Nizams. Mughlai culinary traditions joined with local traditions to create Hyderabadi cuisine.[1] : 92  Local folklore attributes the creation of Hyderabadi biryani to the chef of the first Nizam, Nizam-ul-Mulk, Asaf Jah I, in the mid-18th century, during a hunting expedition.[2][3] In 1857, when the Mughal Empire declined in Delhi, Hyderabad emerged as the center of South Asian culture,[4][5] resulting in a mix of innovations in Hyderabadi biryani.[6][7]: viii  [8]


The exact origin of the dish is uncertain. Despite legends attributing it to the Nizam's chef, the biryani is of South Indian origin, derived from pilaf varieties brought to South Asia by Arab traders. Pulao may have been an army dish in medieval India. Armies would prepare a one-pot dish of rice with whichever meat was available. The distinction between "pulao" and "biryani" is arbitrary.[9][10] Hyderabadi biryani developed engrossing Deccani or Telangana flavors into it, as stated by the Himayat Ali Mirza, the great-grandson of Mir Osman Ali Khan. Himayat said that this evolution had taken place in the Asaf Jah’s Kitchen.[11]


Base ingredients are basmati rice, goat meat or (sometime chicken or beef), dahi, fried onion and ghee. Spices include cinnamon, cloves, cardamom (elaichi), bay leaves, nutmeg, papaya paste, caraway (shahi jeera), mace flower (javitri), star anise (biryani flower), lemon, and saffron.[3]

Hyderabadi biryani is of two types: the kachchi (raw) biryani, and the pakki (cooked) biryani.[12]

Kachche-gosht ki biryani[edit]

The kachchi biryani is prepared with kachchi gosht (raw meat) marinated with spices overnight and then soaked in curd (dahi) before cooking. The meat is sandwiched between layers of fragrant basmati rice and cooked "in dum" after sealing the handi (vessel) with dough. This is a challenging process as it requires meticulous attention to time and temperature to avoid over- or under-cooking the meat.[13][14]


A biryani is usually served with dahi chutney and mirchi ka salan.[15] Baghaar-e-baingan is a common side dish. The salad includes onion, carrot, cucumber, and lemon wedges.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Collingham, Lizzie (2006). Curry: A Tale of Cooks and Conquerors. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-988381-3. Retrieved 2 March 2021.
  2. ^ Rao, Nagarjuna (6 May 2018). "Which is the world's best biryani?". Gulf News. Retrieved 1 March 2021.
  3. ^ a b Colleen Taylor Sen (2004). Food culture in India. Greenwood Publication. p. 115. ISBN 0-313-32487-5. Retrieved 12 October 2011.
  4. ^ "The courtesans of Hyderabad & Mehboob Ki Mehendi". The Times of India. 23 December 2012. Archived from the original on 10 September 2015. Retrieved 1 March 2021.
  5. ^ Jaisi, sadiq; Luther, Narendra (2004). The Nocturnal Court: The Life of a Prince of Hyderabad. Oxford University Press. p. xlii. ISBN 978-0-19-566605-2.
  6. ^ Mohammed, Syed (24 July 2011). "Hyderabad through the eyes of a voyager". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 10 September 2015. Retrieved 27 December 2011.
  7. ^ Lynton, Harriet Ronken (1987). Days of the beloved. Orient Blackswan. ISBN 978-0-86311-269-0.
  8. ^ Lanzillo, Amanda Marie (8 April 2020). "Hyderabadi Cuisine: Tracing its History through Culinary Texts". sahapedia.org. Retrieved 1 March 2021.
  9. ^ Karan, Pratibha (2009). Biryani. Random House India. pp. 1–12, 45. ISBN 978-81-8400-254-6.
  10. ^ Sanghvi, Vir. "Biryani Nation". Archived from the original on 17 August 2014. Retrieved 24 August 2014.
  11. ^ Syed Akbar (15 November 2021). "'Wazir' Mandi strays into 'king' of Hyderabad cuisine Biryani's court | Hyderabad News - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 6 March 2022.
  12. ^ "Metro Plus Chennai / Eating Out : Back to Biryani". The Hindu. 13 June 2005. Archived from the original on 10 November 2009. Retrieved 18 February 2011.
  13. ^ "There's more than just one type of Hyderabadi biryani, and here's how different they are". The News Minute. 27 April 2017. Retrieved 7 December 2020.
  14. ^ Latif, Bilkees (2000). Essential Andhra Cookbook. Penguin. ISBN 9788184754339. Retrieved 2 March 2021.
  15. ^ "Telangana / Hyderabad News : Legendary biryani now turns 'single'". The Hindu. 18 August 2005. Archived from the original on 29 March 2007. Retrieved 18 February 2011.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]