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different types of biryani in India

11 Different Types of Biryani in India | The most delicious

Are you a fan of Indian cuisine? If so, you’ve probably heard of biryani – a flavorful and aromatic dish that’s a staple in Indian households. But did you know that there are eleven different types of biryani in India, each with its unique blend of spices and flavours? In this article, we’ll take you on a culinary journey through the diverse world of different types of biryani in India.

History and origin of Biryani

Biryani is believed to have originated in the Indian subcontinent during the Mughal era. The dish was introduced by the Mughals, who were known for their love of rich and indulgent food.

The word “biryani” is derived from the Persian word “birian,” which means “fried before cooking.” This cooking technique involves partially cooking the rice and meat separately before layering them together and finishing the cooking process.

This method allows the flavours to meld together, resulting in a dish that is bursting with aroma and taste. There are many different types of biryani in India which vary in taste and flavour as per the region.

Common ingredients in Biryani

While the specific ingredients may vary depending on the region and type of biryani, there are a few key ingredients that are common to most biryani recipes.

Rice, meat (such as chicken, mutton, or fish), and a blend of aromatic spices are the main components of biryani. The super spices used in Indian cooking help enhance the flavour of every biryani in a unique way.

The spices used often include cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, bay leaves, and star anise, which lend a fragrant and distinctive taste to the dish.

Other common ingredients include onions, tomatoes, yoghurt, saffron, and ghee. The combination of these ingredients creates a symphony of flavours that make biryani a beloved dish.

Different Types of Biryani in India

Hyderabadi Biryani – A royal delicacy

Hyderabadi biryani is perhaps the most famous and iconic type of biryani in India. It originated in the city of Hyderabad, which was once ruled by the wealthy and extravagant Nizams.

Hyderabadi biryani is known for its rich and luxurious flavours, with a perfect balance of spices. The dish is traditionally made with basmati rice, tender meat (usually chicken or mutton), and a blend of aromatic spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, and saffron.

What sets Hyderabadi biryani apart is the cooking technique known as “dum,” which involves sealing the pot with dough to trap the steam and infuse the flavours into the rice and meat. The result is a biryani that is fragrant, flavorful, and fit for royalty.

Awadhi Biryani – The Lucknowi Delight

Lucknowi biryani, also known as Awadhi biryani, hails from the city of Lucknow in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. This biryani is a testament to the rich culinary heritage of the region, which was heavily influenced by the Mughals.

Lucknowi biryani is known for its delicate flavours and the use of fragrant ingredients such as saffron, rosewater, and kewra (screw pine) water. The preparation of Lucknowi biryani involves marinating the meat in yoghurt and spices and then layering it with partially cooked rice.

The dish is then cooked on low heat until the flavours meld together, resulting in a biryani that is aromatic, flavorful, and incredibly tender.

Kolkata Biryani – Fusion of flavors

Kolkata biryani, also known as Calcutta biryani, is a unique fusion of flavours that combines Mughlai and Bengali cuisine. This biryani is said to have been introduced by the Nawab of Awadh when he moved to Kolkata during the British Raj.

Kolkata biryani is known for its use of fragrant Basmati rice, meat (usually chicken or mutton), and a special blend of spices that includes cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg. What sets Kolkata biryani apart is the addition of potatoes, which adds an extra layer of flavour and texture to the dish.

The biryani is typically garnished with fried onions and served with a side of raita (yoghurt sauce) and boiled eggs. Kolkata biryani is a perfect example of the culinary fusion that defines Indian cuisine.

Malabar Biryani – A taste of the coast

Malabar biryani hails from the coastal region of Malabar in the southern state of Kerala. This biryani is influenced by the flavours of the Arabian Peninsula, owing to the historical trade links between the region and the Arab world.

Malabar biryani is known for its use of flavorful spices such as black pepper, fennel seeds, and cloves. The dish is typically made with short-grain rice, meat (usually chicken or fish), and a rich blend of spices that gives it a unique and distinct taste.

The biryani is cooked in a sealed pot, allowing the flavours to infuse into the rice and meat, resulting in a dish that is fragrant, spicy, and full of coastal flavours.

Sindhi Biryani – A spicy treat

Sindhi biryani is a spicy and flavorful dish that originates from the Sindhi community in the Sindh region of present-day Pakistan. However, it has become popular in various parts of India as well.

Sindhi biryani is known for its bold and vibrant flavours, with generous use of spices such as red chilli powder, turmeric, and garam masala.

The dish is typically made with basmati rice, meat (usually mutton or chicken), and a combination of onions, tomatoes, and yoghurt, which gives it a tangy and slightly sour taste.

Sindhi biryani is often garnished with fried onions, mint leaves, and coriander, adding a refreshing touch to the dish. If you’re a fan of spicy food, Sindhi biryani is a must-try.

Bombay Biryani – A burst of flavours

Bombay biryani, also known as Mumbai biryani, is a vibrant and flavorful dish that reflects the diverse culinary influences of the city. This biryani is a fusion of flavours from the Mughlai, Persian, and Konkani cuisines.

Bombay biryani is typically made with basmati rice, meat (usually chicken or mutton), and a blend of aromatic spices such as cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom.

What sets Bombay biryani apart is the addition of fried potatoes and boiled eggs, which give the dish a unique and delightful texture.

The biryani is often garnished with fried onions, mint leaves, and coriander, adding a burst of freshness to the dish. If you’re visiting Mumbai, be sure to try this iconic biryani that embodies the spirit of the city.

Bhatkali Biryani – A Karnatake Special

Bhatkali Biryani, a culinary gem hailing from the coastal region of Karnataka, is a tantalizing dish renowned for its rich blend of spices and aromatic flavours.

This unique biryani variant showcases a harmonious marriage of tender mutton, fragrant basmati rice, and a medley of herbs and spices, creating a symphony of taste that delights the senses.

With its roots deeply embedded in tradition and culinary expertise, Bhatkali Biryani stands out as a flavorful and aromatic delight that promises a culinary journey like no other.

Tahari Biryani – A Vegetarian Version

Tahari Biryani is a delectable rice dish originating from the Indian subcontinent, specifically associated with the Awadhi cuisine of Lucknow.

Unlike traditional biryanis, Tehari is a vegetarian delight featuring fragrant basmati rice cooked with a medley of aromatic spices, and vegetables, and often infused with saffron for a rich flavour and vibrant hue.

The dish evolved from the royal kitchens of Awadh, where it was initially prepared with meat but adapted to a meatless version over time.

Tahari Biryani showcases the culinary finesse of the region, offering a tantalizing blend of spices and textures, making it a popular and satisfying choice for vegetarians and biryani enthusiasts alike.

Ambur Biryani – Tamil Nadu

Ambur Biryani is a renowned South Indian biryani variant hailing from the town of Ambur in Tamil Nadu. This flavorful dish has gained popularity for its unique preparation method and distinct taste.

Characterized by fragrant, long-grain rice, typically Seeraga Samba rice, it is cooked with succulent chunks of meat, often chicken or mutton. Ambur Biryani is seasoned with a blend of aromatic spices and herbs, including cloves, cinnamon, and coriander, creating a rich and savoury flavour profile.

The dish is further elevated by the use of a special spice blend, giving it a distinctive taste that sets it apart in the diverse world of biryanis.

Kalyani Biryani

Kalyani Biryani is a unique and flavorful biryani variety originating from the town of Kalyani in the Indian state of West Bengal.

This regional specialty is distinguished by its preparation, where fragrant Basmati rice is cooked with succulent pieces of meat, commonly chicken or mutton. What sets Kalyani Biryani apart is the use of aromatic spices and a special blend of masalas, resulting in a delicious and mildly spiced dish.

The biryani is often garnished with fried onions, boiled eggs, and fresh coriander, adding layers of texture and taste. Kalyani Biryani reflects the culinary diversity present in different regions of India.

Mangalore / Beary Biryani

Beary Biryani, rooted in the Beary Muslim community of coastal Karnataka, is a distinctive biryani variant celebrated for its unique blend of flavours. This aromatic dish features Basmati rice layered with marinated meat, typically chicken or mutton and a melange of spices.

What sets Beary Biryani apart is the inclusion of coconut milk, imparting a subtle sweetness and richness to the rice. Additionally, the biryani often incorporates local spices and herbs, creating a delightful and nuanced taste.

Served with accompaniments like raita and salad, Beary Biryani exemplifies the cultural diversity and culinary creativity found in the coastal regions of Karnataka, India.

Biryani variations in other regions of India

In addition to the nine types of biryani mentioned above, there are several other regional variations of this beloved dish. Each region in India has its own unique take on biryani, incorporating local ingredients and flavours.

For example, the Kashmiri biryani is known for its use of aromatic spices such as fennel seeds and dry fruits, while the Chettinad biryani from Tamil Nadu is known for its fiery and spicy flavours.

The Memoni biryani from Gujarat is made with fragrant Basmati rice and a unique blend of spices, giving it a distinct taste.

Exploring these regional variations of biryani is a culinary adventure that allows you to experience the diverse flavours of India.

Tips for cooking the perfect Biryani

Cooking biryani can be a complex and time-consuming process, but with a few tips, you can achieve the perfect biryani at home. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. Choose the right rice: Basmati rice is the preferred choice for biryani due to its long grains and fragrant aroma. Soak the rice for at least 30 minutes before cooking to ensure even cooking and fluffy grains.
  2. Marinate the meat: Marinating the meat in yoghurt and spices adds flavour and tenderizes the meat. Let the meat marinate for at least 1-2 hours, or overnight for maximum flavor.
  3. Layering is key: Layering is an important step in biryani preparation. Start with a layer of partially cooked rice, followed by a layer of meat, and then repeat until all the ingredients are used. This ensures that the flavours are evenly distributed throughout the biryani.
  4. Use the dum method: The dum method involves sealing the pot with dough or foil to trap the steam and infuse the flavours into the biryani. Cook the biryani on low heat for a longer duration to achieve tender meat and perfectly cooked rice.
  5. Garnish with fried onions and fresh herbs: Fried onions add a crispy texture and sweet flavour to the biryani, while fresh herbs such as mint and coriander add a burst of freshness. Sprinkle these garnishes on top of the biryani just before serving.

By following these tips, you can create a biryani that is flavorful, aromatic, and truly delicious.


Biryani is more than just a dish – it’s a culinary masterpiece that showcases the rich and diverse flavours of India. From the royal Hyderabadi biryani to the sweet Kolkata biryani, all the different types of biryani in India have their unique blend of spices and ingredients.

Whether you’re a biryani enthusiast or simply curious about Indian cuisine, exploring the world of biryani is a journey that will tantalize your taste buds and open your eyes to the rich culinary heritage of India.

So, grab your plate and get ready to savour the flavours of biryani – a dish that has captured the hearts and palates of people around the world.

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