Biryani is without doubt one of the most well-known Indian & Middle Eastern rice dishes. It's a robust dish in which meat is cooked through in a mixture of spices and then combined in layers with plain rice. Biryani may be prepared with chicken or lamb (it can also be made vegetarian), and it is normally used as a main course of a feast or a big family supper.

Hyderabadi Biryani

One of the most popular types of biryani is known as Hyderabadi biryani. Hyderabadi biryani is a variety of biryani that involves marinating the meat in a combination of plain yogurt, oil, and spices / aromatics and then baking the raw marinated meat directly with par-boiled basmati rice. This is unique from other types of biryani in which the lamb (or chicken) and masala (i.e. the spices) are simmered in vegetable or canola oil and then layered with rice and baked.

Regrettably, I think that there are a few aspects of Hyderabadi biryani that actually make it less flavorful than other kinds of biryani. This is where I think Hyderabadi biryani goes astray:

1) The spices must be cooked in vegetable or canola oil. This is probably the most significant mistake that Hyderabadi biryani makes. Cooking the necessary biryani spices (e.g., garlic ginger paste, red chili powder, turmeric, clove) in oil allows these spices and aromatics to give off their entire flavor into the masala oil - well beyond what is emitted when they are just mixed with cold yogurt and oil. If the spices & aromatics aren't heated, then the necessary chemical reactions that generate a lot of the flavor essentially can't happen. Hyderabadi biryani loses out on a good deal of flavor and spice on account of this misstep.

2) Cooking raw lamb or chicken for 30 minutes will not leave it tender. Almost all Hyderabadi biryani recipes ask that the marinated yogurt-meat be layered into a pot and simply baked with the semi-cooked basmati rice. This won't result in tender meat. The sole method of getting your meat tender is to slow cook the meat for no less than 1.5 hours. These biryani recipes that recommend merely thirty to forty minutes of cooking honestly will not get the job done.

3) Flavoring the rice. Unfortunately, the most seasoning I've seen added to the rice in a Hyderabadi biryani recipe was simply a couple of cardamom pods or spices thrown into the pot of water in which the rice is cooking. This will grant the rice a subtle aroma, but it won't give any serious flavor to the rice itself. To really flavor your biryani rice, you should incorporate a bit of the masala to the plain rice when you are layering it pre-baking.

So even though Hyderabadi biryani is the most well-known style of biryani, in my opinion it's certainly not the most tasty.