Hyderabad Opinion

The Saga of Biryani in Hyderabad: From Mutton to Beef

Biryani has become an iconic dish of Hyderabad. Let it be shaadi or any other event, nothing ends without the serving of Biryani if you are in Hyderabad. And it is no wonder that anyone who has once visited Hyderabad will have tasted this appetizing dish.

Interestingly, Hyderabadi Biryani is often best served in the old city area of Hyderabad. With new restaurants mushrooming in and around financial district, one will find more places and varieties in serving.

History of Biryani

Being an old cuisine, Hyderabadi Biryani still evokes the glory of its Nawabi past. The biryani with its Persian lineage, when came to India through the Mughals, has gained the grandeur of Indianness. And for Hyderabadi Biriyani we have something unique, which still makes an impression and love for anyone who have tasted it from somewhere in Hyderabad with “mirchi kasalan” and “dahi ki chutney” to its company.

What goes in making it?

The mouthwatering taste that Hyderabadi Biryani provides is a result of the spices and the multi-tasking steps in certain time frames. Biryani is served in two varieties, one is kachcha biryani in which raw meat is cooked with the rice, and pukka biryani in which the meat and rice are cooked separately and then assembled before being finished with steam for a few minutes.

Dum Ki Biryani

Both Kachcha biriyani and Pakka biriyanis are in the forefront though some argue the Kachcha Biriyani to be “The Real Biryani”. Anyhow, ‘Dum’, the technique of compressing the steam, is mandatory for a Hyderabadi Biryani to be ‘legitimate’ in its preparation.

Hyderabadi Biryani
Hyderabadi Biryani

There are various tastes and likes of the biryani fans. Though a majority of people prefer mutton biryani and chicken biryani, which are famously available Café Bahar, Shah Ghouse, Shadab, Chicha’s Hotel, Paradise, Bawarchi, Mehfil, etc. Most of the restaurants in Gachibowli commercial area serve this variety of Hyderabadi biryani throughout the year.

Kalyani Biryani

Another popular variety of Biryani in Hyderabad is Kalyani Biryani. There are many takers of it, especially from working class. There is a misconception about the customary “Kalyani Biryani”, that it is the name of Hyderabadi biryani for which beef is used as the ingredient. ‘Kalyani Biryani’ has its own story from the “Kalyani Nawabs”. This Biryani is very much different from that of the Elite and costly Hyderabadi Biryani, and as a reason it uses lesser spices and has its distinct tomato, jeera, and dhania flavor.

Kalyani biryani is mostly served in budget hotels, or at small stalls. A place like Tolichowki, which is on the way to Hi-Tech City from Mehdipatnam, one will find hotels such as Ruman serving beef biryani. Honestly, the praise of Kalyani biryani being called the ‘Hyderabadi biryani of the poor’ does not give its real intent. It is as unique as Hyderabadi Biryani is. Biryanis will always be a weakness for food lovers and therefore exploring Hyderabad with Biryanis will be worth the time and pleasurable.

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