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Different types of Biryani Recipes

Updated on September 4, 2015


I have heard about so many different types of Biryanies. Most prominent Biryani types are :

  1. Simple Biryani
  2. Hyderabadi Biryani
  3. Lucknowi / Awadhi Biryani

Before I never knew what is the difference between all of these types of Biryanies but since than I have started taking interest in cooking different cuisine and the flavors of all the spices, I understood the difference. In India every state or region has its different specialty in food therefore using of different spices in their food recipes also depends upon the particular region.

However some people does not understand the difference but Biryani lovers can easily differentiate the taste of each region. Here, I will present few different types of Biryani Recipes. Before presenting recipes I will give a brief details about history of Biryani .

History of Biryani

Biryani is derived from the Farsi word 'Birian'. Based on the name, and cooking style (Dum), one can conclude that the dish originated in Persia and/or Arabia. It could have come from Persia via Afghanistan to North India. It could have also been brought by the Arab traders via Arabian sea to Calicut. We know the history little better during 1800 to 1900. During Mogul empire, Lucknow was known as Awadh, giving rise to Awadhi Biryani. In 1856, British deposed Nawab Wajid Ali Shah in Calcutta, giving rise to Calcutta Biryani. Aurangzeb installed Nizam-ul-mulk as the Asfa Jahi ruler of Hyderabad, as well as a 'Nawab of Arcot' to oversee Aaru Kaadu region (Six Forrests) south of Hyderabad. These moves gave rise to Hyderabadi Biryani and Arcot Biryani. The Biryani spread to Mysore by Tipu Sultan of Carnatic. Needless to say it was a royal dish for Nawabs and Nizams. They hired vegetarian Hindus as bookkeepers leading to the development of Tahiri Biryani.

Besides the historical facts, the story gets little fuzzy with legends.

One legend has it that Timor, the lame brought it down from Kazakhstan via Afghanistan to Northern India. According to another legend, Mumtaz Mahal (the beauty who sleeps in Taj Mahal) concocted this dish as a "complete meal" to feed the army. Yet, some say the dish really originated in West Asia. The Nomads would burry an earthen pot full of meat, rice and spices in a pit, eventually the pot was dug up and there was the Biryani.

Biryanis from India

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Simple Chicken Biryani

This biryani is very easy to make. No special spices are required to cook simple biryani. You can prepare this recipe with readily available spices. This type of Biryani does not take long time in cooking.

Recipe of Simple Chicken Biryani

Simple Chicken Biryani
Simple Chicken Biryani

Cook Time

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 35 min
Ready in: 45 min
Yields: Serves 2 people


  • 3 tbl spoon Cooking oil
  • 1 Cinamon Stick
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 4 Green cardimom
  • 4 Cloves
  • 1 tsp Cummin seeds
  • 2 medium size Onion (Sliced)
  • 4 Green chilies
  • 1 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tbs Ginger & garlic paste
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp Red chili powder
  • 600 gm Boneless Chicken
  • 1 cup Yogurt
  • 1 1/2 Cup Boiled Basmati Rice
  • 2 Onion (Fried and dried)
  • Coriander Leaves
  • Mint Leaves
  • Garam Masala Powder
  • Saffron
  • 1/2 cup Milk


  1. Heat 3 table spoon cooking oil in a deep pan then add cinnamon stick, bay leaf, cloves, green cardamoms and Cumin Seeds in it and stir for few second.
  2. Add chopped onion and stir until it become light golden then add green chilies.
  3. Add chicken and stir for 5 minutes then add Ginger Garlic paste and cook for 2 minutes
  4. Add turmeric powder, salt and red chili powder.
  5. Now add tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes.
  6. Add yogurt and stir continuously until chicken get cooked.
  7. Add boiled Rice and spread Coriander and mint leaves. Sprinkle some strands of saffron. Now pour half cup of milk and and put remaining fried onion on it. Cover the pot and cook on low heat for about 10 minutes .
  8. Mix it well and serve in dish and garnish with boil eggs.

Hyderabadi Biryani

Hyderabadi Biyani is one of the most basic and popular biryani of the subcontinent. In Hyderabadi Biryani firstlt meat is marinated with all the spices and the cooked and steamed with the half cooked rice.

Please find the below recipe of this delicious dish.

Cook Time

Prep Time: 1 hour Cook Time: 45 Mins + 1 Hour Ready In: 2 Hour + 15 Mins

Serves: 6 - 8


  • Mutton 1 kg
  • Yogurt 1 cup
  • Warm milk 1 cup
  • Clarified butter 1 cup
  • Onions 4 (sliced)
  • Cloves 4
  • Lemons 6
  • Green chilies 6 (sliced)
  • Black peppercorns 8
  • Green cardamoms 8
  • Mint 1 bunch (roughly chopped)
  • Yellow food color 1 pinch
  • Red chili powder 1 tbsp
  • Powder of Nutmeg and Mace 1/2 tsp
  • Raw papaya paste 2 tbsp
  • Ginger garlic paste 1 tbsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Rice 1 kg (parboiled in salted water with 1 tsp black cumin and 1 tbsp white vinegar, drained)
  • Dough to cover the lid


  1. In a cooking pot, add mutton, raw papaya paste, red chili powder, salt, yogurt, ginger garlic paste, lemon juice of 2, green cardamoms, mint, green chilies, black peppercorns powder of nutmeg and mace and cloves and mix together.

  2. Keep aside for an hour.

  3. Then cook on low flame and until water dries.

  4. In a frying pan, heat oil and sauté finely sliced onions til golden brown.

  5. Then sieve out spread fried onion on absorbent paper and pour hot oil on the mutton mixture.

  6. Grease the base of a cooking pot and spread a layer of half cooked rice.

  7. Then spread a layer of mutton and sprinkle half of the fried and crushed onion on top.

  8. Drizzle the juice of 2 lemons over mutton.

  9. Then spread a second layer of remaining rice.

  10. Dissolve a pinch of yellow food color in warm milk and pour over rice.

  11. Top with remaining fried onion, lemon juice and raw clarified butter.

  12. Cover the pot tightly with its lid and apply the dough on the lid to close in properly.

  13. Heat a griddle pan on high flame, place the pot over it and reduce the heat to low.

  14. Cook for 15 minutes or until done.

  15. Serve delicious Hyderabadi Biryani with raita and salad.

Lucknowi / Awadhi Biryani

Biryani from Lucknow is known as "Cooked Biryani" . According to the `cooked` style, meat and rice are cooked separately then layered in a copper vessel for the finish.

Delicious Awadhi Biryani
Delicious Awadhi Biryani

Cook Time

Prep Time: 1 hour Cook Time: 45 Mins + 1 Hour Ready In: 2 Hour + 15 Mins

Serves: 6 - 8


For garam masala:

  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 8-10 cloves
  • 2-3 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2-3 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp pepper corns
  • 2 star anise
  • 2-3 mace
  • 2-3 brown cardamom
  • 3-4 green cardamom

For mutton marination:

  • 1/2 kg mutton
  • 2-3 tsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • Cashew nut paste
  • Pinch of garam masala
  • 4-5 tsp. curd

For cooking:

  • 2-3 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp ghee
  • 2-3 tsp oil
  • 2-3 cups milk
  • Saffron


For garam masala:

  1. Dry roast all the spices.
  2. Once they are roasted, transfer them to a masala grinder and grind them finely.

For mutton marination:

  1. To half kg mutton, add ginger-garlic paste, turmeric and chilli powder.
  2. Then add cashew nut paste, garam masala, curd and whisk it.
  3. Cover it with the lid and put it in the refrigerator for an hour.

Final Preparation:

  1. Let the meat come to room temperature. Season the meat with salt.
  2. Grease the handi with some ghee and oil. Transfer the marinated meat from the bowl to the handi.
  3. Now stir and cook the meat for a few minutes.
  4. Cover with the lid and simmer it for another half an hour.
  5. Now layer the mutton with cooked rice and pour a little saffron induced milk over it.
  6. Add a little salt, garam masala, roasted onions and ghee over it.
  7. Cover the handi with the lid and weight it down with something heavy. Keep the flame low.
  8. Cook for about half an hour. Serve it hot.

Tip: Add some kewra or rose water to biryani for an aromatic essence.

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    • Ruth Angel profile image

      Ruth Mata 

      3 years ago from New Mexico

      I've tried a few Indian food dishes, but i've never heard of this! Will have to try it!

    • Sherrye Barrow profile image

      Sherrye Barrow 

      3 years ago from Duncan, AZ

      The recipe looks delicious. I found the history very interesting and well written.


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