8 Regional Biryanis From Around India To Add To Your Wishlist

Biryani, the fragrant and savoury rice dish, is a real worldwide culinary treasure that has grabbed the hearts and palates of people all over the world. Biryani developed and adapted centuries ago on the Indian subcontinent, resulting in different regional varieties that display the rich tapestry of world flavour

The core of biryani is in its preparation, which involves marinating meat or vegetables in a spice and yoghurt mixture before stacking them with partly cooked rice, herbs, and fragrant seasonings. The dish is then slow-cooked to perfection, enabling the flavours to combine to create a fragrant, delicious delicacy.

Each regional biryani features a distinct blend of ingredients, spices, and methods, resulting in a culinary piece of art that embodies the region's culture and legacy. Whether you're a biryani aficionado or new to this global gastronomic adventure, there's a delightful suprises awaiting you in each regional adaptation. So, grab your passport, and let's explore the tantalising world of biryani.

Here are 8 regional Indian biryanis to delight in:

1. Lucknawi Biryani

Lucknowi Biryani, hailing from Uttar Pradesh, India, is a fragrant and flavorful dish. Typically made with chicken or mutton, the meat is marinated in yoghurth, saffron, and aromatic spices. Basmati rice is parboiled with spices, lending it a delicate fragrance. In the 'dum pukht' method, layers of marinated meat and rice are alternated in a heavy pot. The dish is garnished with crispy, golden-fried onions, fresh mint, and coriander leaves. The slow-cooking technique ensures that the meat becomes tender and the flavours meld together beautifully, creating a sumptuous and aromatic Biryani unique to Lucknow's culinary heritage.

2. Hyderabadi Biryani

Hyderabadi Biryani, from Hyderabad, India, is a fragrant dish made with basmati rice, marinated meat (chicken, mutton, or veggies), and a blend of aromatic spices, including saffron. The distinctive feature is the "dum cooking" method, slow-cooked in a sealed pot to infuse flavours. It's garnished with fried onions and traditionally served with raita or mirchi ka salan.

3. Kolkata Biryani

Kolkata Biryani, originating from Kolkata, India, is a unique variation of this beloved dish. It's made with fragrant rice (like Gobindobhog or Kalijeera), typically featuring marinated meat, often chicken or mutton, and mild spices. What distinguishes Kolkata Biryani is its slight sweetness, attributed to the use of caramelised onions and sometimes raisins. It's a flavorful and aromatic preparation, showcasing Kolkata's culinary influences.

4. Malabar Biryani:

Malabar Biryani is a delightful South Indian variation of biryani that hails from the Malabar region of Kerala. This biryani is famous for its distinct flavours and ingredients. It typically incorporates fragrant short-grain rice like Kaima rice, along with a choice of meat (such as chicken, mutton, or fish), aromatic spices, and coconut milk. The biryani is known for its rich and unique taste, combining the richness of spices with the creaminess of coconut milk. It's often garnished with fried onions, cashews, and raisins, adding a delightful contrast of textures and flavours.

5. Sindhi Biryani:

Sindhi Biryani, from the Sindhi region of Pakistan, is known for its blend of aromatic spices, fragrant basmati rice, marinated meat (usually mutton), and unique additions like potatoes and dried plums ( bukhara). It's a flavorful dish often garnished with fried onions, mint, and coriander, showcasing the rich and tangy flavours of Sindhi cuisine.

6. Bengali Biryani:

Bengali Biryani is a variation of the popular Indian rice dish that hails from the Bengal region of India. It's characterised by fragrant rice, often Gobindobhog or Kalijeera, combined with marinated meat, typically goat, and aromatic spices. What makes Bengali Biryani unique is its subtly sweet flavour profile, achieved through the use of caramelised onions and sometimes raisins. It's a harmonious blend of sweet and savoury flavours, representing the distinctive taste of Bengali cuisine.

7. Thalassery Biryani:

Thalassery Biryani is a unique South Indian dish originating from Kerala's Malabar region, notably Thalassery. It features fragrant short-grain Khaima rice, meat (chicken, mutton, or prawns), and a special blend of spices. What sets it apart is the garnish of fried onions, cashews, and raisins, creating a rich and aromatic flavour profile.

8. Ambur Biryani: 

Ambur Biryani presents an essential culinary adventure while exploring Tamil Nadu. Distinct from other biryani types, it incorporates meat (chicken or mutton) that's uniquely prepared. The meat is marinated in yoghurt, infused with coriander and mint flavours, and finally combined with cooked Seeraga samba rice and a medley of spices. Enjoying it alongside brinjal curry, known as "ennai kathirikai," brings sheer delight to all biryani aficionados.

India's love affair with biryani is a testament to its culinary diversity and cultural richness. Each region's biryani has its own story to tell, reflecting the local traditions, ingredients, and cooking techniques. Whether you're savouring the elegance of Lucknawi Biryani, the fiery intensity of Hyderabadi Biryani, the delightful surprise of Kolkata Biryani, or the slow-cooked perfection of Awadhi Biryani, you're experiencing not just a dish but a slice of India's culinary heritage. Biryani in India is more than food; it's an expression of tradition and love that transcends generations