So we are off on the first ever #GreatIndianFoodTrip today. The ScoutMyTrip team is off to Hyderabad where the South Indian Biryani Trail officially starts tomorrow. You would know a lot about types of Biryani down south in general is you’ve read the earlier post.

Lets delve a little deeper into the different types of Biryani and what really sets them apart from each other. One of the key differentiators is the rice that is used as each region has its own favored variety. The other thing that sets the types of biryani apart are the aromatics and spices added to it to give the distinct taste.

Types of Biryani

Biryani in Hyderabad

types of biryani


Many variants of the Hyderabadi Dum Biryani use the Basmati rice as the rice of choice. Long grained and fragrant, the aroma of the rice literally announces itself once the biryani is ready and calls out to the hungry traveler! The Hyderabadi Dum Biryani is definitely one of more flavorful types of biryani, with the saffron flavored rice, golden fried onions, cooked whole spices and mint leaves. The Kalyani Biryani is the other variant of the Hyderabadi Biryani, which lacks the rich spices and is usually made with beef. Though it is often referred to as the poor man’s Hyderabad biryani, it is just as tasty with tomato-jeera-dhania flavor and is definitely worth a try.

Biryani in Kerala

types of biryani


In Kerala, or the Malabar coast, the Thalaserry or Calicut Biryani shows of the Yemeni traders. The preferred type of rice is the Jeerakashala or the Kaima rice, just as fragrant as the basmati, but a whole lot sweeter and short-grained. The Calicut Biryani is cooked in the Pukki style where the components are cooked separately and then assembled. Cooked with ghee and the subtle Malabar spices, the taste of the fried dry fruits and curry leaves makes it one of the lip-smacking types of biryani. Besides the usual meat and veg varieties, the Thalaserry Biryani is also has the seafood version with prawns, shrimp and plenty of fish! I am really looking forward to sampling this unique specimen of biryani on our #GreatIndianFoodTrip!

Biryani in Tamil Nadu

types of biryani


The Chettinad influence on the Tamil Nadu biryanis makes it very spicy. Traditionally, all local types of Biryani here use the Seeraga Samba rice. This is a rounder, almost egg shaped sticky rice which imparts a very unique taste to the dish. The Chettinad biryani has huge spice kick to it, with the black pepper corns, star anise and cinnamon added to it. The Ambur Biryani, credited to the Nawab of Arcot, is milder on spice with a minty curd base for tenderizing the meat. The Dindigul Biryani further uses lemon along with yoghurt to tenderise the meat, which makes tangy to taste. The Biryani served in hotels usually has a boiled egg hidden in the mounds of rice. Now that’s something I can’t wait to discover.

Biryani in Karnataka

Karnataka is a one place where we had the maximum problem in researching the local variants of Biryani. The Bhatkali and Beary types of biryani are very localized. Hence we weren’t able to get the recommendations of the best places to try them on the trail. The Bhatkali variant is cooked in a lot of spicy masalas. While the Beary variant has many aromatic spices that give it a distinct flavor. The Hyderabadi and Ambur variants of Biryani, though not local, have been assimilated and made its own in Karnataka. Then there is the Donne Biryani, literally meaning Biryani served on leaves (Usually banana or palm leaves) The Donne biryani uses the Jeeraga Samba rice and is served piping hot with a side of raita.The Shivaji military hotel comes highly recommended for this type of Biryani and I cant wait to try this ou!

The concept of biryani is much like life itself. Its  basically a rice dish with spices and vegetables / meat. What makes them different is the small little choices that people and the combinations of what you do with what you have, exactly like life. At the very base, it’s all the same but the end results are very different.

Bon Appetit!

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