1. Hyderabadi Biryani
Hyderabadi Biryani is unarguably the most popular Biryani in India. The Hyderabadi Biryani originated under the rule of Asaf Jah I, the Governor of Deccan, appointed by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. The Hyderabadi Biryani is made with long-grain, aromatic Basmati Rice, whole spices and motton/chicken. Hyderabadi Biryani is sold in 4 variations in India – Hyderabadi Chicken Birayni, Hyderabadi Mutton Birayni, Kachay Gosht Ki Biryani and Hyderabadi Dum Biryani. The most traditional form of Hyderabadi Birayni is Dum Biryani. Unlike others, the Mutton is marinated and slow-cooked along with the Basmati Rice during the preparation of Dum Biryani
2. Thalassery Biryani (Malabar Mutton Biryani)
Also known as Kerala Biryani or Malabar Mutton Biryani, the Thalassery Biryani is the most popular form of Biryani eaten in Malabar region (Kerala). Thalassery Biryani get its name from the Thalassery sea port in North Kerala. The Thalassery port was a major export trade centre for spices where a convergence of European, Arab and Malabar cultures occurred. Thalassery Biryani is different from others in flavor and the preparation. Only Khyma (Khaima) or JeeraKasala rice is used to make Thalassery Biryani. Thalassery Biryani ingredients are Chicken, Kerala Spices, Ghee and Khyma Rice. To prepare Thalassery Biryani, Khayma Rice is mixed with ample amount of Ghee (clarified Butter). Rice is then well mixed with a huge amount of spices, tomato, onion and is slow-cooked in brass utensils using the Dum method. The Dum preparation include sealing the lid with dough and placing red hot charcoal above the lid for catching the aroma and flavor.
3. Kalyani Biryani
Known as the ‘poor man’s Hyderabadi Biryani, the Kalyani Biryani is a typical form of Hyderabadi Biryani. Kalyani Biryani is said to have originated in the Bidar region during the reign of the Kalyani Nawabs. Traditionally the Kalyani Biryani is always made from Buffalo meat and is less on spices and ingredients. Kalyani Biryani doesn’t have loads of ingredients and spices as Hyderabadi Biryani. The meat is flavoured with very basic spices such as Ginger, Garlic, Turmeric, Red Chili, Cumin and Coriander Powder. Large amount of Onion and Tomato are used to give the thickness.
4. Lucknowi Biryani
The star kid of Awadhi cuisine, the Lucknowi Biryani (also known as Awadhi Dum Biryani) is a kind of Pakki Biryani. The preparation includes cooking of cooked meat and cooked rice layered together and then cooked for some time to get well-mixed. The rice and marinated meat portions are partially cooked separately in spiced water, layered and then cooked by the Dum method.
5. Calcutta Biryani (Kolkata Biryani)
Originally originated from Lucknowi Biryani, the Kolkata Biryani is the economy version of Biryani. Use of Potato is the specialty of the Kolkata Biryani. Kolkata Biryani evolved from the Awadhi cuisine, when Awadh’s last Nawab Wajid Ali Shah fled to Kolkata after he was exiled in 1856. Shah brought his personal chef with him as he was addicted to Biryani. The households of Kolkata could not afford meat and hence used potatoes instead. The meat is also served along with it. Also, the Kolkata Biryani is mild in taste, ueses much less spices. The Biryani rice is flavoured with rose water and saffron which gives it a rich aroma and distinct taste.
6. Ambur Biryani Or Vaniyambadi Biryani
Ambur Biryani or Vaniyambadi Biryani was introduced by the Nawabs of Arcot who once ruled the towns of Ambur and Vaniyambadi in the Vellore district in Tamil Nadu. The Vaniyambadi Biryani is one of the few which uses curd as a gravy base. Apart from the curd-gravy, the Biryani is cooked alike others. The use of spices is low and onion mixed with curd is used to impart thickness to the Biryani. The Ambur or Vaniyambadi Biryani is accompanied with ‘Dalcha’, a sour brinjal curry and ‘Pachadi’ (Raita).
7. Bhatkali Biryani
Bhatkali Biryani is one of the most popular form of Biryani eaten in coastal Karnatak. It is said to have introduced by the Nawayath Muslim community of Bhatkal, Karnataka. It is inspired from Bombay Biryani, but has a distinct taste and flavour. Use of huge amount of onions compared to other Biryani varieties is the distinctive factor of Bhatkali Biryani. Also, several types of meat are used to cook Bhatkali Biryani. The Biryani is cooked with an onion-based sauce, spices and Karnatak Rice. It is served with Bhatakali kachumber or Burhani (Sweet Raita).
8. Memoni Biryani
The most spicy form of Biryani, the Memoni Biryani is super-rich on spices and chillies. It is an extremely spicy Biryani introduced by Memons of Gujarat-Sindh region. Unlike others, Memoni Biryani is cooked with lamb, yogurt, spices, fried onions, and potatoes. Minimal amount of Tomato and food colouring agents are used. Memoni Biryani uses large portions of meat and spices. The Biryani relies on the spices and meat types for its flavor, aroma and look.
9. Palakkad Rawther Biryani
The Palakkad Rawther Biryani is a form of Dum Biryani introduced by the Rawther Muslim community in the Palakkad district, Kerala. The Palakkad Rawther Biryani is cooked in three variants – Lamb & Mutton; Chicken; Beef & Egg. The Biryani is high on spices and meat portions. Almost no lemon or tomato is used, but onions only. Palakkad Biryani is accompanied by Curd salad and local Winter-Melon dessert.
10. Beary Biryani
Beary Biryani is a less, spicy form of Mutton Biryani. It is cooked primarily by the Beary Muslim community of Dakshina Kannada, where it features predominantly in all their major celebrations. The Beary Biryani is mild in taset, with less spices and onions. Mutton is primarily used to cook Beary Biryani, but nowadays beef, chicken, fish and prawns are also used sometimes. It is a from of Kacchi Biryani. The Basmati Rice is cooked separately with Ghee and spices and raw marinated meat is layered and then finally cooked together using the traditional Dum method. Beary Biryani is served with Kebabs and Veg-Raita.
Apart from the above forms of Biryanis, there are few other types that are eaten in India. Bombay Biryani, Sindhi Biryani and Dindigul Biryani are few of them.