Pakistanis love Desi food and especially Biryani despite consistent efforts of fast food chains to change our eating habits. This savory makes way into our workplace lunches, parties, weddings and special Sunday dinners. Even if one wishes to consume it all by themselves, it will be far off representing bad manners or lack of social skills. On a daily average, people in Pakistan make 5% of Biryani orders by using foodpanda mobile app.
What makes Biryani so popular is very easy to answer: combination of spices and a variety of ingredients to create flavors. Many of us would essentially include Aloo (potato) while some would appreciate hard-boiled eggs. This likability of ingredients and combinations has given numerous names to one of the oldest recipes from our sub continental roots. Below are some of the popularly eaten Biryani variants:
- Lucknowi Biryani
Have you heard about layers in food? Well, however common this little technique may be it is revolutionary from the time it has travelled into future. The rice and gravy are cooked separately and eventually combined together in layers. Lucknowi Biryani cookers do not use grounded spices; whole spices are used to make the gravy. Interestingly, no tomatoes are used either and that’s why a lot of yoghurt is used.
- Hyderabadi Biryani
It is easily the most favorite Biryani of Pakistanis and Indians. Rice and meat are cooked together unlike the method used in Lucknowi Biryani. Rice is cooked in meat’s aroma which gives it an extra punch of flavor. No wonder this Biryani is eaten popularly and considered a special delicacy in household parties.
- Sindhi Biryani
What is Biryani without potatoes? If you are one of those crazies that cannot imagine Biryani without potatoes, Sindhi Biryani is for you. Apart from potatoes, tomatoes and yoghurt, the addition of Aloo Bukhara (dried plums) and greater ration of spices makes it very spicy; befitting local tastebuds. Rice and curry are layered in the similar way as Lucknowi Biryani does.
- Calcutta Biryani
Sindhi Biryani’s reasons for adding potato is unknown but we do know why Calcutta Biryani makes use of this much loved vegetable. Back in the days of recession in India, meat was replaced with potatoes in Biryani. Later, addition of meat didn’t interfere with spice infused potatoes and continued to be cooked this way.
- Memoni Biryani
It is not a Memoni Biryani if it is cooked with chicken. Mutton or lamb meat is essentially the star element of this savory and derives from Sindhi Biryani flavors. Small changes here and there and we get flavorful and spicy nourishment thanks to our local Memon families.
- Kacchi Biryani
Unlike Hyderabadi Biryani, which semi-boils the rice and leaves meat to tenderize in the steamed pot, Kacchi Biryani ingredients are entirely raw and are cooked together in a pot with yoghurt and meat layer at the bottom. It is less spicy and is preferred to be cooked with either beef or mutton.
- Mughlai Biryani
The name speaks for itself. A lot of Kings have reportedly eaten this delicious Biryani in their days when regal cooks would prepare this ‘elite’ dish for supper. Mughlai Biryani is cooked in a very different way. The semi-cooked meat and raw rice are combined together to evaporate excess of liquid in high heat. Afterwards, it is cooked on slow heat to let the rice and meat tender down.
- Egg Biryani
This is an ‘invention’ of those crazy Biryani lovers who took up the challenge of trying to make it yummier and thus Egg Biryani came to life. It is cooked without meat or vegetables and hard-boiled eggs are used as the main ingredient. A light hearted meal with power punch of protein is cooked all over Pakistan in every household.
Pakistanis are well aware of this type of Biryani which makes no difference in the ingredient and use traditional cooking pots famously known as ‘Daig’ to cook for a large number of people. Somehow, the cooking pot brings a new flavor to the dish which is well accustomed to local liking.
Contribution by Sara Qazi
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