As rich as the flavor and aroma of every rice biryani…so is its history. Empires fought hard and cultures made known just so we can taste the perfect cuisine. In today’s post I’ll write a few words about this delicious dish and I’ll try to answer the question what is the best rice for biryani. Enjoy 🙂
From Persia to India
Originally came from the Farsi word “Birian” which means “fried before cooking”, biryani has taken a long journey before it ended up deliciously in India’s plate today. India was no stranger to invasions; it has witnessed several in fact.
One popular story about the history of biryani was about Mumtaz Mahal, the Shah Jahan’s queen from 1593-1631 who inspired the first ever biryani back in the 1600’s.
She visited her soldier’s barracks and found out how undernourished her armies were. She then ordered a dish that is complete and balanced so the chefs made a dish with rice, herbs, meat/fish, saffron, and spices cooked slowly over wood fire to enhance the flavor.
Biryani may have traveled from Persia via Afghanistan down to Northern India and is historically associated with the Mughal Empire. Apart from the empire’s invasions, they are also known for their luxurious dining especially with rice recipes and grilled meats.
They have perfected the art of cooking which has then passed on to many tribes and generations until today. Although the origin is still quite debatable no one can argue about how rich the flavor is and how passionate this recipe has been cooked. Here you will learn more about the history of rice.
Types of Biryani Rice
As the art of cooking Biryani reached many areas and cultures, the types of rice being used for this recipe also differs. The types of rice used in cooking Biryani depend on where it came from because this recipe has spread widely in different Indian sub-continents as well as major parts of the Middle East and South Asia.
So that Biryani rice you have just tasted may have come from a certain place or culture in Asia.
Here are the major rice varieties:
- Basmati Rice – The top choice for making Biryani is basmati rice because of its long grains, soft texture, fluffy and separate grains when cooked. The taste of basmati rice is also aromatic compared to other varieties.
- Jeerakasala Rice – Thin, short grain rice used as Biryani rice in most parts of Kerala.
- Seeraga Samba – This variant is the most expensive rice grown in the Southern parts of India and is popularly used in making Biryani in Tamil Nadu.
These are the top rice varieties used in making Biryani but of course there are many more varieties being used all over India, Middle East, and South Asia.
Because Biryani rice is such a popular recipe, it became an important part of any occasion on many parts of the world. These are the varieties of Biryani:
- Beef Biryani – This kind of Biryani rice uses beef as the meat. This variety is very famous in Kerala wherein the beef is cut into small cubes and added with lots of tomatoes. The aroma of this recipe is mostly tomatoes and onions.
- Kacchi Biryani – This variety can be of chicken or mutton meat or at rare times, fish and prawns. The meat is marinated in yoghurt and then layered with rice and other ingredients.
- Tehari Biryani – This variety if biryani is for vegans wherein a lot of vegetables especially potatoes, herbs, and spices are added together to bring out the same aromatic biryani but without any meat. Thought to be originally cooked after the WWII wherein the meat prices had a spike.
The way of cooking any from these three most popular Biryani cuisines also differs per region.
There is no doubt that among the varieties of rice being used in Biryani, Basmati rice tops them all. This is because of its perfect long grains, aromatic smell, and fluffy texture.
Basmati Rice originated in India and most of its sub-continents that can be traced as early as 1766. Literally means “fragrant” in Hindi, Basmati was later on introduced by Indian traders to the Middle East and the rest of this part of Asia.
5 Most Popular Biryani Rice in Amazon
There is no doubt that Biryani recipe is truly rich in flavor and history. This recipe is now getting noticed all over the world and a lot of people are getting hooked on how to cook Biryani rice.
Regardless of where you live or where you came from, you can always get a taste of this recipe at home. If you are wondering where to get the best rice for Biryani, check out these top brands in Amazon.
- Royal White Basmati Rice (in the picture) – Vegan approved rice variety for Biryani recipe that came from the Himalayas Mountains.
- Daawat Biryani Basmati Rice – Claimed to be Vegan, Daawat Biryani Basmati rice has the longest grain ranging from 18-24mm. This is perfect for an Indian-themed occasion wherein you can showcase that Biryani cuisine.
- Tasty Bite Brown Rice – This product is ready-made Biryani rice which can be cooked in seconds if you are in great cravings for biryani. 100% vegan and made from brown rice, potatoes, fresh veggies, and lots of spices.
- Tilda Legendary Rice, Pure Original Basmati– This Basmati rice is made with non-GMO ingredients and gluten-free, certified vegetarian variety.
- Fortune Special Biryani Basmati Rice – Non-Vegetarian Basmati variety with the same alluring aroma and long grain quality.
These brands offer top-of-the-line Basmati rice grains perfect for any types of Biryani cuisine. You can get any of these products to cook special Biryani recipe right at the comforts of your homes.
Home Cooking Take Aways
Biryani recipes are special rice recipes that have gone through ages. Its rich aroma and history are the main ingredients that stand out. Now with the help of e-commerce and technology, you can practically have almost all the essential information you need in cooking the best Biryani recipes made from only the best kind of rice variety.
Yes, that Basmati rice you were looking at earlier at the grocery is the perfect rice for Biryani. Get the brand that is just right for you. Go on, have a try.