It would be an exaggeration if someone from Indian origin would ask what "Biryani" is .It is so popular among people not only in india but in most of south asia and even middle eastern parts of world where it is known as beryani and many more other names.
The name Biryani is derived from the Persian word beryā(n) meaning "fried, roasted". It originated in Turkey or Persia and was brought to South Asia by the Muslim traveler’s and merchants. We find different varieties of Biryani in India. Each and every region has adapted accordingly and got their own specialty,slightly differentiating it from the base one which was brought by Persians.
Biryani is a rice based one pot meal consisting of layers of partially cooked rice and meat which are layered alternately and then sealed and cooked on a low flame which is termed as "Dum" . Biryani is usually made with long grain rice such as basmati along with mutton,chicken, seafood or any meat and also with vegetables and lots of aromatic spices such as cloves, cinnamon, cardamon, bay leaf, nutmeg, coriander and many more which makes the dish very flavorful and aromatic.In southern parts of India biryani is made with short grain rice known as khyma which is usually used to make thalassery biryani.
There are generally two methods of preparing Biryani
This is a method of preparing biryani where the raw marinated meat is cooked with partially cooked rice. The layers of marinated raw meat which is usually at the bottom of the cooking pot continued with the layer of rice,flavoured with saffron ,fried onions etc. are then sealed with dough & cooked on a slow dum process,which ensures that the dish cooks in its own steam.The best example of such kind of preparation is Hyderabadi Biryani.
In this kind of preparation the rice and meat are partially cooked separately and then layered and sealed same as the kacchi method and cooked on a dum .The best example of it is Thalassery Biryani.
Every region has its own biryani recipes, the most known biryanis by region as as follows
Biryanis by region
Palakkad Rawther biryani
Karachi beef biryani
And some International variants known are:
Sri Lankan biryani (Buryani)
Malaysia and Singapore
Though I have cooked some of these biryanis, Still there is long way to go....
Some o the biryanis prepared by me....
Hyderabadi dum biryani
Chicken Goli Biryani
Gucchi (Mushrom) Biryani
Enjoy!!!!! and keep cooking