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Biryani and its Fantastic Flavors

Indian biryani - Mama Restaurant

What exactly is Biryani and where does the word come from?

Biryani is a popular Indian rice dish combined with meat or vegetables and spices. It’s generally served in South Asia and the Middle East, but it may have originated in Persia. The name ‘biryani’ originated from the Persian word ‘birian,’ meaning fried before cooking and birinj, the Persian word for rice.

Ancient persia

The etymology of “birinj” connects to two other Persian words: “berezan,” which means yogurt-marinated chicken pieces that are either grilled or fried; and “bereshta,” which means “cooked over coals.”

The dish is thought to be derived from Persia and made its way into India

There are several theories about how this flavorful dish made its way to India.  Even though today, when most people think of Biryani, they think of India, however, the history of this dish goes back to West Asia.  One legend states that the Turk-Mongol Conqueror, Timur, and his army brought biryani with them to the Northwestern borders of India, as it was the main diet of their army.  

Taj mahal framed

Another legend states that the dish was brought to the Southern Malabar coast by traders from the Arab region around 2 A.D., again used as food for their warriors.  The most known and spoken of origin to the beautiful queen, Shah Joahan, the one who inspired the Taj Mahal.

Biryani is a type of pulao made with a selection of meats and spices, but chicken and mutton are most used.

You may not realize it, but you’ve probably eaten biryani before. It’s a type of pulao—a rice-based dish with meat or vegetables.  It is usually served as a side to an entree with more complex flavors.  Biryani can be made with a variety of meats, but chicken and mutton are most common. A classic biryani recipe consists of cooked basmati rice layered with spices like cumin, turmeric and coriander, onions and other vegetables like potatoes and peas and then baked until tender. The result, an aromatic dish that will leave you feeling full yet still wishing for more.

The dish is mostly cooked in layers with marinated meat placed between alternating layers of basmati rice, aromatic spices, and bits of dried fruit, or nuts for a unique flavor

Uncooked basmati rice
Close view of spices

To cook a basic biryani, you will need:

  • Meat (chicken, lamb, beef or seafood)
  • Basmati rice (to make the layers)
  • Spices (cardamom pods and cinnamon sticks
  • Yogurt (for marinating the meat)

You can add more ingredients to your biryani if you wish. Some popular extras include dried fruit such as prunes or raisins; nuts like almonds or cashews; fresh herbs like cilantro leaves; saffron threads steeped in warm milk; lime wedges for squeezing over your dish once cooked—the list goes on!

Mama's Restaurant makes the most delicious biryani in town!

Biryani chicken

You don’t have to be a connoisseur of Indian cuisine to know that the best biryani in town is served at Mama’s Restaurant. You don’t even have to take our word for it. Mama Restaurant has been reviewed and highly recommended by some Top Review websites such as Restaurant Guru and My Best.  We’ve been serving delicious and authentic biryani dishes for over 20 years, so you can trust that we know what we’re doing!

Our secret recipe ensures that every bite of our food tastes exactly as it should: fresh, flavorful, and delicious. It’s the only way we know how to make it!

We also use only the freshest ingredients because no one wants bland food on their plate. In fact, Mama insists on using only the best ingredients available because we know how important it is for our customers to get their money’s worth when they pay for quality food like ours!

And finally—if there’s one thing you’ll learn about us at Mama’s Restaurant, it’s that everything is better with more options! That means you can choose from several different types of biryani at any given time depending on what kind of mood you’re in today.”

So, If you’re interested in trying the best chicken biryani recipe, we’d love to have you at Mama’s restaurant. Drop us a line for delivery or stop by near Khlong Ong Ang in Little India, Phahurat!

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