a (whisked yoghurt with salt, black pepper, chopped onions and green chillies, coriander and mint leaves).

Hyderabadi Biryani

Biryani comes from the Persian word ‘Birian’ which means ‘fried before cooking’.  There are many stories associated with the origins of the biryani.  One legend has it that Timor, also known as Tamerlane, brought it down from Kazakhstan via Afghanistan to Northern India.

Now, when we speak of the famous Hyderabadi  Biryani,  credit goes to the Mughals, who introduced us to this typical Persian dish. Aurangzeb invaded the South and installed the Nizam-ul-mulk who later became the Nizam of Hyderabad. During the Nizam rule, Biryani came to occupy an important place in the menu, especially during the special occasions and went on to acquire the name Hyderabadi Biryani.

As the bahu or daughter-in-law of a Hyderbadi family, I do consider it a shame if I didn’t know how to cook the Hyderabadi biryani.  My mother in law is an expert, who whips up the most fragrant and finger-licking good biryani I have ever tasted in my entire life!  It took me two years to finally get the courage to cook this biryani.  I made sure my mother in law isn’t around during my first attempt.  And so, Masood and his younger brother, Mushtaq, were the first lucky people to try my Hyderabadi biryani.

Marinate the meat in lemon juice, mint and spices (red chilli powder, ginger-garlic paste, cardamom, peppercorns, cloves, and green chillies) for an hour. Then cook with a little oil, till the water evaporates and meat is tender.
Marinate the meat in lemon juice, mint and spices (red chilli powder, ginger-garlic paste, cardamom, peppercorns, cloves, and green chillies) for an hour. Then cook with a little oil and salt, till the water evaporates and meat is tender.
Boil 1 kg basmati rice (pre-soaked for 15 minutes) with some mint, green chillies, cardamom, salt, and 1 tbsp white vinegar. When rice is almost done, drain the water.
Boil basmati rice (pre-soaked for 15 minutes) with some mint, green chillies, cardamom, salt, and 1 tbsp white vinegar. When rice is almost done, drain the water.
Fry 4 medium-sized, finely chopped onions till golden brown. Spread on absorbent kitchen paper.
Fry 4 medium-sized, finely chopped onions till golden brown. Spread on absorbent kitchen paper.
Lightly grease a large pan. Add half the cooked rice, half of the onions and half of the meat. Then make a second layer by putting in remaining rice, onion and meat. Top it off with some lemon juice, food coloring and 1 tbsp ghee. Cook on low heat for a few minutes.
Lightly grease a large pan. Add half the cooked rice, half of the onions and half of the meat. Then make a second layer by putting in remaining rice, onion and meat. Top it off with some lemon juice, food coloring (dissolved in warm milk) and 1 tbsp ghee. Cook on low heat for a few minutes.
Serve with raita (whisked yoghurt with salt, black pepper, chopped onions and green chillies, coriander and mint leaves).
Serve with raita (whisked yoghurt with salt, black pepper, chopped onions and green chillies, coriander and mint leaves).

Fortunately, my first attempt was a huge success!  The secret to a good Hyderabadi biryani is to use mint leaves and lemon juice generously.  Some even add cashew nut powder and other fancy ingredients.  I will get to that level, InshaAllah, but for now I am happy with how my biryani turned out.

Speaking of biryani, Dubai is set to prepare the biggest biryani bowl tomorrow at the Global Village.  Read about it here.

31 comments

  1. Woww looks yummy & Interesting history behind Biryani 🙂

    Thank you. I was quite interested myself to know the history of this favorite food of mine 🙂

  2. Omg, that’s divine!

    Your Biryani’s fantastic, MashaAllah. The food of kings, eh? 🙂

    Nice history. Thanks for sharing that info! 😀

    Thank you, Specs! Yes indeed, it’s a royal food 🙂

  3. Oooh yummy.
    Love the food type posts you make- you’re pretty good at explaining the procedures to amateurs like me.
    🙂

    Thank you, hfm! I’m also an amateur 🙂

    Oh, and all of my food posts are first attempts for that particular recipe. These have passed the strict taste-test of my husband. I’m trying to electronically document my first tries, hehe.

  4. Dats grt , Hyderabadi briyani is not dat much familiar in Tamilnadu myself had first time aftr i came to Kingdom But now it’s in ma every week menu hehe!!

    I don’t blame you. This food is simply addicting!

  5. ur briyani looks yummy nadia! I normally cook briyani using shaan’s sindhi/bombay briyani masala mix (cheating i know). I guess the difference in all these briyanis lies in the spices na?

    I used to cheat too 🙂 But have to learn to cook from scratch to make tastier dishes.

  6. You’re lucky you have a husband who is supportive. My family are so honest it worries me, if I cook anything a little strange they’re practically shoving insults down my throats!
    I guess I’m safer not in the kitchen!

    Hehe, that’s because your family wants you to be an expert when you cook for your husband later on. My own family used to be so critical about my cooking, but it had helped a lot 🙂

  7. Yummmyyyy 😀 can i have some too :$

    lol, i have been experimenting in the kitchen from time to time..and i think its edible 😀

    And when you are going to put up pictures on your blog as evidence? 😉

  8. OMG THAT LOOKS SOOO AMAZING!!! I’M SALIVATING!!!!

    Right. I HAVE to try this. Any chance of you telling me the quantities and measurements for everything you used? PLEASE PLEASE PLEASEEEE! I just have to make this.

    I know I sound mad, this being my first comment and everything but you have no idea HOW MUCH i love a good plate of yum biryani. And your’s look as yum and yum can be!

    xoxoxoxxxx

    I’m equally crazy about biryani myself! I don’t remember the measurements at all, but worry not – I shall check my magic cookbook and let you know 🙂

  9. Oh one more thing; your presentation rocks. So do the pictures.

    Okay I have to eat this like, NOW.

    Haha, thank you so much, Meow (that’s such a cute name, by the way) 🙂

  10. Meow, this is for you:

    Mutton 1 kg
    Basmati rice 1 kg
    Onions 4 medium sized
    Ginger/garlic paste 1.5 tbsp
    Cloves 4
    Peppercorns 8
    Cardamoms 8
    Black cumin seeds 1 tsp
    White vinegar 1 tbsp
    Red chili powder 1 tbsp
    Yellow food color a pinch
    Lemon juice from 5 lemons
    Green chilies 6
    Fresh mint leaves 1 bunch, chopped
    Hot milk 1 cup
    Ghee 1/2 cup
    Salt hasb-e-zaiqa

    Enjoy!

  11. OoOOOooooOOOooooh! I’m SO going to try this TODAY. I guess I’ll just make half a kilo coz only I will be eating it – my hubby doesn’t eat meat :/

    I’ll let you know how it turned out 🙂 Thank you SO much! MUUUUAHHHHHH!

    Let’s figure out a way to make equally delicious veg biryani (although the mutton one will always taste better, hehe). And yes, please let me know how it turns out or what you’d added to make it more special. I want to learn more.

  12. I want to come to your home for that Hyderabadi Biriyani. It looked so delicious. Hope it tasted too!!!

    Welcome to the blog, Captain! I don’t feel it right to compliment myself, but hubby loved it. For me, that means the world. You’re always welcome; would love to have Minal come along too 🙂

  13. Uff!!! I have to make it – Its looks absolutely delicious.

    Masood bechaara kaisay very slim ho ga agar begum iss kism ke mazaidaar khaanay pakaaey gi??? 😛

    Begum ne is ke baad biryani pakaayi hi nahi hai 😀 This was just one of those days when I’m in a mood to cook and have plenty of time in my hands (and no laundry to worry about).

  14. Wow, your first attempt on Hyderabadi biryani looks absolutely perfect!
    Great clicks 🙂

    Yay, Mona herself commented on my Hyderabadi biryadi!!! I can’t believe this! THE Mona commented herself! Thank you so much, dearest sister! 🙂

    PS: Guys and girls – do check out http://zaiqa.net for yummy Hyderabadi recipes. She’s a great cook, MashaAllah.

  15. omgsh.. i’m learning how to cook the hyderabadi way too.. and shoot man, i dont have a husband to worry about, but a father who is so used to eating good hyderabadi food that mine never measures up!
    i’ll cook your way tomorrow.
    InshAllah i hope he likes it.

    I hope he does, InshaAllah. And please let me know 🙂

  16. I learnt it from my mom in law too, she is an excellent cook masha Allah. However, she never cooks the meat, but rather leaves all the meat at the bottom of the pan and then lets it cook on really slow fire for 1 hour or till done. I think that way the meat remains so juicy and is simply delectable.

    Your biryani looks awesome.

    Thanks, Arimas. But I suppose that’s what they call the “dum ki biryani”, the one your MIL taught you? It would be amazing if you could share the recipe with us so I can try something new 🙂

  17. Looks fantastic!! And you’ve put the receipe in such a simple way, thank you for that!!
    But why did you call it an “infamous Hyderabadi Biryani”?? Biryani is famous in Hyderabad, its not infamous!!

    I’ll start cooking it. Thanks again.

  18. Good attempt Nadia, Il surely it out. I am desperately in search of AUTHENTIC HYDERABADI RECIPE of DOUBLE KA MEETHA. Il really appreciate your (and respected MIL’s) help in this regard. im not satisfied with the ones iv read on other blogs till now. I want it from a trusted first hand source. Keep up the good work.

    Thanx.

    1. Welcome to the blog, Salma! My mother-in-law makes excellent double ka meetha, but she’s currently in Hyderabad for a month. Once she returns to the UAE, I’ll get the recipe from her and email you, inshaAllah.

  19. ahaha, parang that looks too yummy. 🙂 hey, just dropping by to say am going to tag you again, ha. i hope it’s alright, it’s for the super sweet blogging award. say you approve, hehe.

    hope things are well. will come back to give the mechanics. cheers! 🙂
    35andupcynicismonhold recently posted..One moment to believe

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge