10 Must-Try Biryani Variants From The Coasts Of Maharashtra

Maharashtrian cuisine is inspired by its diverse culture and historical influences. The state houses many coastal regions on the west coast of India, making it perfect for beach getaways and trying seafood cuisine. Aromatic curries from Kolhapur, street food of Mumbai, snacks from Pune, and seafood from Ratnagiri make up the flavourful blend of Maharashtrian cuisine. While rice, lentils, meat, and vegetables are the spine of the state’s cuisine, spices, herbs, and other condiments add depth to traditional dishes.

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One such dish that you will find in various forms across Maharashtra is biryani. Forget Hyderabadi dum biryani and Lucknow’s layered biryani, Maharashtra alone has at least 10 variants that are worth a try. Each recipe has a connection with a rich culinary past and is treasured by communities of the state. Not just mutton and chicken, but Maharashtrian biryani also has fish, eggs, prawns, and whatnot. 

Konkani Fish Biryani

Originating in the Konkan region, this is a gem of Maharashtrian cuisine that not many are aware of. Fish is first marinated so that meat becomes soft and tender. It is roasted in ghee and cooked in flavourful green paste and gravy of onions and tomatoes. In Konakani fish biryani, the meat is layered with basmati rice and topped with saffron strands, saffron milk, mint leaves, coriander leaves, and saffron milk. 

Aurangabad Dum Biryani

Boasting a rich cultural heritage, Aurangabad is known for its mutton dum biryani. Tender pieces of meat are cooked in a flavourful paste with a rich aroma and spices. Later, the biryani is assembled by layering spiced mutton and long-grain rice. It is cooked on a slow flame to ensure that the meat and rice absorb all the spicy flavours. The dish is topped with fresh mint leaves, coriander leaves and fried onions for extra zingy notes.

Kolhapuri Chicken Biryani

If you have tried multiple variations of chicken biryani, it is time to try the Kolhapuri version originating from the namesake city. The region is known for growing spices with strong aromas and notes. The chicken pieces are first marinated and cooked in the spices, and later, layered with basmati rice, caramelised onions, saffron, and fresh mint leaves. It comes topped with fresh coriander leaves and lemon wedges and looks absolutely irresistible.

Solapur Egg Biryani

Solapur’s egg biryani is equally famous in Maharashtra as a variant of mutton and chicken biryani. The eggs are hard-boiled and marinated in a flavour paste of spices. They are layered with rice and cooked until spicy gravy, eggs, and rice have combined into a satiating meal. It can be paired with curd or raita.

Pune Vegetable Biryani

If you are a vegetarian, you must try Pune’s variant of biryani. Even if you believe that biryani means it has to have meat, you will change your mind after relishing mixed vegetables cooked in spicy masala and layered with fragrant rice. The earthy notes of cloves, cinnamon, and cardamom make this a wholesome meal.

Bombay Biryani

Bombay biryani is a delicacy that you can’t miss if you are planning to visit Mumbai. Either mutton or chicken is cooked in spices after marination to add depth to the dish. Later, the meat is layered with rice, boiled eggs, caramelised onions, and potatoes. It is lip-smacking and worth a try once in your life. 

Thane Prawn Biryani

Thane is a city near Mumbai, rather a part of it, and its prawn biryani is quite liked among seafood lovers. Prawns are marinated in a spicy mixture to make them succulent and juicy. They are layered with rice and cooked slowly for a couple of minutes so that the moment you open the lid of the biryani vessel, your mouth starts watering. It comes topped with fresh coriander leaves. 

Nagpur Fish Biryani

Also referred to as the orange city, because the fruit is grown in abundance, Nagpur is famous for its street food and fish biryani. The marinated pieces of fish are cooked in spices to infuse flavours into the meat. The meat is layered with rice and garnished with lemon wedges, mint leaves, and fried onions. Each bite is a burst of flavour in your mouth. 

Ratnagiri Biryani 

Located on the Konkan coast, Ratnagiri offers a scenic view, therefore, its biryani variant comprises marinated prawns and fish cooked in a spicy mixture to infuse flavours. Once the meat is tender, it is layered with rice and cooked slowly so the aroma of spices takes over bland flavours of rice. Garnished with fried onions and herbs, it is a must-try if you are exploring the district. 

Nashik Mutton Biryani

Nashik is a temple town and also renowned for its vineyards. However, if you ever decide to explore its traditional cuisine, you must try mutton biryani. The meat is first cooked in spicy masala until it is tender. It is layered with long-grain rice and slowly cooked so that ingredients absorb the flavours. For a punch of freshness, it is topped with fresh mint and coriander leaves.