Top 10 Unique Biryanis You Must Try in 2023

Biryani, an emotion for Indians, became an obsession for everybody in India. It is like a national food item that is a compulsory dish in almost every gathering, a mood-changing item, etc.

If anybody asks me to tell them that one food item that really gives me happiness and comfort????…. Then my answer is always Biryani. Being an Odia,  steamed rice with Dalma and pakhala(water Rice)are my soul foods but biryani is an all-time ready-to-eat meal that I prefer regularly whenever I go to a restaurant or at home I want to eat a good meal. So, let’s talk about Biriyani. How this one-pot meal got its fame and becomes everyone’s obsession and in India it becomes famous in the name” Biriyani is an emotion”…..

     There is no specific history about the origin of Biryani. But according to sources, it may be  1st originated in Persia where red meat and mildly flavored rice are eaten together, and entered the India through Mughal and Nawab eras. The Mughal and Nawabi chefs made their own versions by using Indian spices which are tastier than Persian Biriyani and eventually got famous in different parts of India.

                   Previously Biriyani meant, the flavored rice and tender meat pieces whether mutton or chicken meat were slow-cooked together layer by layer to create a succulent taste. But these days being mostly a vegetarian country in India, people try vegetarian versions of Biriyani which also tastes good. 

PC: Sources

   Due to cultural differences, Indians also prepare different versions of Biriyani according to their traditional whole spices, and eating habits. For example, the North Indian version of Biriyani tastes different than South Indian Biriyani, Kolkata style Biriyani is incomplete without Alu (Potato), etc. In the south, the Hyderabadi biriyani is way different from Kerala Biriyani. So, Biriyani tastes different from one region to another part of India.

             In India, the most common Biryani varieties which are widely liked by everyone are Hyderabadi Biriyani, Lucknow Biriyani, Malabar Biriyani, Kolkata Biriyani, etc. But the varieties are not ending here. My husband’s colleague Mr. Amritendu Bhattacharya made a survey about types of Biryani that are loved by local people but are very unknown to many people in the country. Here I am providing unique types of Biriyanis you must try if you are truly a Biriyani lover and want to taste some unique flavors of Biriyanis available in India.

         The list credit goes to Mr. Amritendu Bhattacharya, a statistician by profession, a traveler, and a food lover by passion. These are:

  1. Ambur Star Biryani
  2. Kachhi Biryani
  3. Afghani pilaf or Afghani pulao
  4. Thallasery Biryani
  5. Awadhi Biriyani
  6. Bhatkali Biryani
  7. Burmese Dambuk
  8. Dindigul Biryani
  9. Kurdish Biryani
  10. Chettinad Biryani

Ambur Star Biryani

Starting from a small home, today the Biryani has reached Singapore. It was started by Biryani legend Hussain Baig in 1890 in Vellore District, Tamil Nadu. He cooked this at home and started selling from there. Now the next generations of him maintained the tradition and opened new outlets of Ambur Star Biryani at many places inside and outside of India.

PC: Sources

 One may ask what is the specialty of this mouthwatering Biryani…, the answer lies in a unique flavourful rice, minimal spices, and its cooking style. The rice here used is Jeera Samba Rice or Arcot(PLace in Tamil Nadu) rice. In this Biryani green chillies and ghee are not used, unlike other Biryani recipes. The spiciness comes from the dried and soaked red chili paste and whole spices like Cardamom, Cloves, and Cinnamon. The rice and meat are decorated in a layered manner and cooked slowly on a wooden stove.

                Due to the use of this minimal spice,  the Biryani is more of a Meaty flavor than whole spices. This awesome biryani is served with Ennai Kathirikai (Spicy and sour Brinjal Curry) and Onion or Cucumber Raita.

The top Restaurants that serve the best Ambur Star Biryani in India are:

  • Ambur Star Biryani since 1890 (Ambur, Tamil Nadu)
  • Ambur Star Biryani since 1890 (Chennai, Tamil Nadu)
  • Ambur Star Biryani since 1890 (Bengaluru, Karnataka)

Kachhi Biryani

Kachhi Biryani or raw biryani originated from the Chagati people of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and entered India through Bangladesh by the Mughals. Kachhi Biryani entered India through Hyderabad. So, the Hyderabadi Biryani style follows Kachhi Biryani style cooking which is famous in Bangladesh.

PC: Sources

  In this style, raw marinated meat is cooked on a low flame so that the juiciness of meat is absorbed within the meat. Here, the raw meat is placed in the bottom layer and half-cooked flavored Basmati rice is placed above it and cooked for hours. Yeah, it’s a long cooking process as the meat is 1st marinated with whole spices, Yoghurt, fresh herbs, ghee, and jaggery for 2-3 hrs for best results, then again slow-cooked with rice for 1-1.5 hrs. This requires lots of patience to get delicious results. Here, saffron milk and fried onions are definitely used which enhances the taste of Biryani.

Top Restaurants:

  • India Restaurant (Kolkata, West Bengal)
  • Dalcha Biryani (Bhubaneswar, Odisha)
  • Shah’s Biryani (Bhubaneswar, Odisha)
  • Oudh 1590 Vivekanand Park (Kolkata, West Bengal)

Afghani Pilaf or Afghani Pulao

It is the most unique biryani which has a sweet and salty combination taste. The salty taste from whole spices, and meat and the sweetness from tender raisins and carrots, the unique taste of special rice called sella rice cooked in meat stock adds beauty to the dish.

PC: Sources

                Previously it was a celebratory dish in Afghani upper-class families prepared during large gatherings, weddings, traditional meetups, etc. But eventually, it became a national dish of Afghanistan and became famous in the entire world including India. From this scrumptious dish, Afghani cuisine got its fame.

             The specialty of this Biryani or pilaf is the meat here used is mutton. Without mutton and Sella rice, this pilaf is not an Afghani pulao. It is served with a green salad.

Top Restaurants In India:

  • The Afghan Bahar( Bhubaneswar, Odisha)
  • Afghan Darbar Restaurant( New Delhi)
  • Kabul Darbar Restaurant( Hyderabad, Telangana)
  • Jabbar Afghani( Kolkata, West Bengal)
  • Mazar Restaurant( New Delhi)

Thalassery Biryani

 It was started by the Kannaur people from the Malabar region of Kerala. The special Biryani rice called Jeera kasala or Kaima rice, short grain rice and special Kerala spices like Cumin seeds, Caraway seeds, Dried Red chili, Cardamom, Cloves, Cinamon, Star Anise, Black pepper, and tender meat pieces are added to unique taste to the Biryani.

PC: Sources

 The taste got its richness from fried cashews and raisins added to the top of Biryani. People generally know about Malabar Biryani but Thalassery Biryani is a type of Malabar Biryani that local people live there. In Malabar restaurants, you can easily get Thalassery biryani and enjoy it.

Top Restaurants in India:

  • Paris Restaurant-Old, (Mattaparam Road, Kerala)
  • Rara Avis Restaurant (AVK Nair Road, Kerala)
  • Jubilee Restaurant (near Old Bus Stand, Kannur, Kerala)
  • Thottathil Restaurant (Kollasseri Road,Kerala)
  • Ameen Restaurant (Palassery, Kerala)

Awadhi Biryani

This Biryani is a part of Awadhi Cuisine influenced by Nawabs of Awadh( Persian Origin) region in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. The cuisine is a combination of Mughlai and Nawabi cuisines. The speciality of this Biryani is it is made with whole spices not grounded spices or Biryani masala which is used in other Biryani recipes.

PC: Sources

 Another ingredient that adds a kick to the taste is yellow chili Powder which is hard to find in India. Here mint leaves are not used in the Biryani. The Sella Rice is used as the Biryani Rice which definitely creates uniqueness to the dish. Awadhi Biryani is way different from Lucknowi Biryani. One should try this at least once.

Top Restaurants in India:

  • Mashi Biryani World (Lucknow)
  • Wahid Biryani (Lucknow)
  • Dawat-e-Awadh (New Delhi)
  • It’s Lucknowi (Mumbai)
  • Oudh 1590 Vivekananda park (Kolkata)

Bhatkali Biryani

Originated from a small coastal village called Bhatkali near Mangalore District of Karnataka State. This unique coastal Biryani is a healthier option one can choose as no oil or ghee is used in the recipe.

PC: Sources

  The Meat or Fish is cooked on a tawa with onion masala. The meat is cooked in its own oil. The one special ingredient here is curry leaves which add a unique taste to the Biryani. The rice is cooked separately. After that, like other Biryanis, Masala, and rice were assembled one after another, and the fried onions and mint leaves were added on the top and served with Mirchi Ka Salan.

Top Restaurants In India:

  • Al Kababi Restaurant (Azad Nagar, Bengaluru)
  • Taj Restaurant (Bhatkal, Karnataka)
  • Ali Baba Cafe and Restaurant (NH-66 next to Motiya Goat Farm, Karnataka)
  • Zaatar palace restaurant (ShareeshComplex, NH-66, Karnataka)

Burmese Danbauk

Today’s Myanmar which was once known as Burma was the main trading center for Indians. So, Burmese cuisine is heavily influenced by India. Still, Burmese Cuisine has some differences from Indian cuisine through its cooking style, spices, and eating habits of its people.

PC: Sources

Burmese Danbauk’s biryani cooking process is almost similar to the Indian Biryani process. But it differs when only Meat and flavored rice is cooked layered by layer with Saffron milk and the meat gravy is served separately. So, one can enjoy the meat and rice only or can eat it with meat gravy or korma( in Local Burmese Cuisine). One should definitely try this authentic cross-border dish and mark the differences.

Top Restaurants in India:

There are lots of Burmese restaurants in India, but I found only one restaurant that serves Burmese Danbauk Biryani.

  • Burmese Bahar Restaurant (Kolkata, West Bengal)

For other Burmese cuisines, You can visit the following Restaurants:

  • Burma Burma Restaurant & Tea Room (Kolkata, West Bengal)
  • The Burmese Cuisine Restaurant (New Delhi)
  • Mohinga The Taste Of Myanmar (New Delhi)
  • Burma Burma Restaurant & Tea Room (Gurugram, Haryana)

Dindigul Biryani

The Biryani is also known as Dindigul Thalappakati Biryani. The main founder is Nagaswamy Naidu, who started a restaurant called Dindigul Thalappakati restaurant in 1957 in Dindigul, a small village in Tamil Nadu.

PC: Sources

The rice used in this Biryani is “Sreeraga Chamba Rice or Parakkum Sittu”. The unique taste comes from the special masala paste which includes cardamom, Cinnamon, small onion, Black pepper, and Cloves.

Top Restaurants In India:

  • Dindigul Thalappakati Restaurant (Railway station road, Tamil Nadu)
  • Dindigul Venu Biryani (Begambur, Tamil Nadu)
  • Dindigul Thalappakati (Batlagundu. Tamil Nadu)

Kurdish Biryani

Have you ever heard about vermicelli being used in Biryani?….. The answer is yes. The Kurdish or Iraqi Biryani is one such unique biryani which is a combination of rice, Vermicelli, Nuts, and Chicken. One must try Biryani I would suggest.

PC: Sources

 The Biryani Masala here used is Baharat Spice mix which is an Arabic spice mix Masala quite similar to Indian Garam Masala. So, the taste of Biryani is a combination of Arabic and Indian cuisine. Nuts like roasted Almonds, Cashews, etc. are added richness to the Biryani.

Try this authentic Iraqi Biryani with the recipe.

Chettinad Biryani

The Biryani is a part of the Chettinad community in Tamil Nadu state. The spices used there are different as coconut and Black pepper are the main ingredients in many recipes.

PC: Sources

The flavourful biryani tastes different from other biryanis due to its strong spicy Masala paste. The aroma of rice comes from Jeera Samba Rice and like other recipes, here coconut milk is used in the biryani and curry leaves enhance the taste.

Top Restaurants in India:

  • Amma Chettinadu Restaurant (Chennai, Tamil Nadu)
  • Anjappar Chettinad Restaurant Nungambakkam (Chennai, Tamil Nadu)
  • Anjappar Chettinad Restaurant Koramangala (Bengaluru, Karnataka)
  • Hotel Karai Chettinad Restaurant (Pudducherry)
  • Pondy Parottas (Telengana)

Thank You for reading my blog. I hope you get some ideas about new types of Biryani to try one day…For more exciting information, follow my blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *