Biryani is love. That’s what everyone who tastes a Biryani has to say. But do you know something interesting? This Mughlai delicacy is not uniform and there are numerous types of biryanis that taste completely different.

Ting Ting! 

If you’re travelling to India, or are looking to order a biryani from an Indo/Pak restaurant near you, then you are at the right place. We will give you a complete insight into the types of biryanis that you should taste.

And yes, if you are an avid biryani muncher, you might not have given thought to the various types you biryanis you have been eating. Probably that’s why you found the tastes very different.

Let’s delve deep into the different types of biryani, their ingredients and the peculiarities of each type of biryani. So, the next time you order a biryani, you would know exactly what you need. 

 

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What is Biryani?

 

Biryani is a dish made up of rice, dried fruits, spices, beef, lamb or chicken and some other tasting ingredients. A perfect blend of spices and ingredients to use might be somewhat a form of rocket science but biryani chefs have got it covered somehow. Biryani is an extremely popular dish in South Asia and is a must taste delicacy for a visitor to this region.

Let’s unveil the 11 most popular types of biryanis that will satisfy the foodie in you.

 

1. The Grand Mughlai Biyani – The Most Widely Consumed Type of Biryani in India

 

It was the type of biryani which was traditionally cooked in the kitchen of the Nawabs. Or say the rulers of various territories in the Mughal era. Mughlai biryani was more popular from 1426 to 1857 CE.

Due to a mass scale spread of poverty after the Revolt of 1857, which poets like Mirza Ghalib have spoken about, this type of biryani became a less common form. That was primarily due to the decrease in the buying power of people and the high cost of ingredients used in the preparation of Mughlai biryani.

Mughlai biryani uses a ton of dry fruits especially cashew nuts and almonds. A very important ingredient of this type of biryani is the world’s costliest spice, saffron. You can’t just prepare Mughlai biryani without saffron. Mughlai biryani was traditionally made from chicken, but some alterations of this delicacy have also used mutton as the primary ingredient.

High-quality yoghurt and premium quality of basmati rice are other core preparatory ingredients.

Where can you find this type of biryani?

It is typically found everywhere in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Any restaurant that serves Mughlai food, has a Mughlai biryani on its menu.

Mughlai Biryani

Mughlai Biryani

2. Biryani of the Nawab’s – The Majesty Hyderabadi Biryani

 

Common knowledge suggests that biryani is Hyderabadi. But this is just another type of biryani which was cooked in the kitchen of the Nawabs. That’s why some people also like to call it Nawabi biryani. 

Prepared from lamb or a goats meat, this type of biryani is very complex to cook. It is cooked in an earthen pot known as a haandi. Rice and the mutton of the Hyderabadi biryani come out to be soft and puffy. 

The puffiness is majorly due to the steam that is created in the airtight earthen pot in which this biryani type is cooked. Among the major ingredients are mutton, lemon, saffron, solid spices and garnishing.

Where can you find this type of biryani? 

It is a bit rare to find this biryani in Northen parts of India, but nevertheless, it is available at selected places all throughout the Indian Subcontinent. But yes, in Hyderabad, you will find its most authentic form. 

Hyderabadi Biryani

Hyderabadi Biryani

3. Tahiri – From the Rarest Varieties of Biryani  

 

Tahiri is a vegetarian variety of biryani. It was cooked for the Hindu book-keepers of the Nawabs. Since most of the Hindus back in the day preferred a vegetarian meal, so a Tahiri consists mostly of potatoes, carrots and a few other vegetables.

Interestingly, due to a high price of mutton and chicken after the second world war, Tahiri gained a lot of popularity. However, compared to the non-vegetarian varieties of biryani, tahiri is less famous and arguably less delicious.

Where can you find this type of biryani? 

 

It is rare to find this dish as people usually prefer pulao to a Tahiri. But it is still sold and consumed in some parts of the Deccan.

Tahiri - Type of Biryani

Tahiri – Type of Biryani

4. Bombay Biryani – One of the Most Delicious Biryani Varieties 

 

Dried plums, chicken, spices, potatoes and kewra water (screw pine) come together to give way to a Bombay biryani. It was introduced into the culture of the Mumbaikers by the Muslims. It is a type of biryani that is tangy and sweet, yet has a flavour that is somewhat spicy.

From among the different varieties of biryani, a Bombay biryani is quite unique. Sometimes the chicken may be replaced by lamb flesh.

Where can you find this type of biryani? 

 

You will find this type of biryani mostly in and around Mumbai. It is a rare thing to find in other parts of India. And possibly it is very unknown as well.

Bombay Biryani

5. Alert! There is a Malabari Biryani as Well 

 

It might be a bit odd to know, but yes, there is a Malabari form of biryani. A unique dish as it can be both sweet or salty depending upon your taste. And as you must have guessed it, Malabari biryani is from the dry fruit rich types of biryani. 

Guess what. Another special ingredient in a Malabari biryani is fish! Yes, the fish.

Where can you find this type of biryani?

 

It is a no brainer. It is found in South India, ie the Malabar region. Streets of Kerala are especially famous for it.

Malabari Biryani

Malabari Biryani

6. Lukhnowi Biryani – The Dum Pukht 

 

Lukhnowi biryani is an alternate name given to the Awadhi biryani. It’s cooked to the core in a high-pressure environment. Generally made up of lamb, sometimes, chicken is also used. The cooking style of this biryani is what makes it stand out.

Flavoured with cinnamon, saffron and star anise, it is cooked in a deep bottomed vessel so that the flavour and smell of the spices used, comes out well. It is a delight for those who love soft rice and mild flavours. 

Where can you find this type of biryani?

 

Found in Lukhnow only. 

Lucknowi Chicken Biryani

Lucknowi Chicken Biryani

7. Memoni Biryani – For the Spice Lover 

You can’t miss trying this biryani if you’re a spice lover. Let me be straight, this biryani is too spicy, at least for me. It is popular among the Memon community in Gujrat. This type of biryani like all other varieties of biryani has meat, yoghurt, spices and vegetables such as potatoes. 

The difference in taste is due to the difference in the composition of spices, the size of mutton pieces and the procedure of cooking. 

Where can you find this type of biryani?

 

Only in Gujrat. 

Memoni Biryani

Memoni Biryani

8. Bhatkali Biryani – The Coastal Variety of Biryani

 

From the coastal regions of Karnataka, we get the delicious Bhatkali biryani. It is spicy, juicy and consists of a lot of fried onions. Since it is from a coastal area, don’t be surprised by a fried fish topping.

I recommend eating this one if you are a fish lover.  

Where can you find this type of biryani?

 

This can be found all around the state of Karnataka.

Bhatkali Biryani

Bhatkali Biryani

9. Dindigul Biryani – The Tamil Biryani 

 

Tamils are known to love their culture. And they love their biryanis too. It is a mouthwatering tangy biryani that originated in the Dindigul Thalapakatti region. 

The incredibly tangy taste of the curd and lemons makes this a must try form of biryani.

Where can you find this type of biryani?

 

Tamil Nadu.

Dindigul Biryani

Dindigul Biryani

10. Kalyani Biryani – The Poor Man’s Hyderabadi Biryani 

 

Made from buffalo meat, means that it is a countervail biryani variety if you are living in India. It generally costs less than mutton or chicken biryani, but my tastebuds prefer this over any other form of meat. 

It might also not have all the ingredients that are present in the Hyderabadi biryani, but we do not find a compromise in the taste, in fact, the fats in buffalo meat make it a very delicious cuisine. 

Where can you find this type of biryani?

 

You will find it in the home of biryanis, Hyderabad and Delhi. And yes, it would be sold at small takeaways rather than in fine-dine restaurants.  

Kalyani Biryani

Kalyani Biryani

11. Sindhi Biryani – The Love of Pakistan 

 

Sindh is a province that lies in the area of Pakistan and interestingly it is famous for all the right reasons. This type of biryani is made from the very generous use of chillies, spices that are roasted, mint, coriander leaves, nuts, dry fruits, sour curd, and onions. 

Plums and potatoes are also found in this biryani so that the tanginess remains in moderation. It is a very aromatic cuisine and should be especially tried for the use of roasted spices. 

Where can you find this type of biryani?

 

Sindh, in Pakistan. 

Sindhi Biryani

Sindhi Biryani

 

Time to Relish all these Types of Biryanis 

 

That’s all from my side, so get on with tasting all these types of biryanis and let me know if you want more information any other biryani.

See you in the comments.