biryaniBiryani is a famous dish typically served at important occasions.  It is also very popular to serve with company as it can be made in large quantities.  It can be a one pot meal and only requires a few accompaniments to make it an elegant offering for any occasion.

Authentic biryani is best savored on a trip to India or Pakistan.  There is no substitute.  Talk to the locals, read reviews of restaurants and enjoy the meal.  Outside of that, it’s all hit and miss. In my 40 years of traveling the globe, I have found no alternative.  Even in India, there are only particular regions/cities/restaurants that have this on their menu – and serve it right.  You do have cooks in London and NY that do a good job but they do not come close.

Lucknow is the center of the biryani universe.  The classic ‘Dum ka Biryani’ is complex enough to serve kings and emperors.  The biryani chefs are able to crank these classics out with complete aplomb – and their craft is handed down to the next generation that makes it almost impossible to compete with as a home cook.  Now I know most of you have not had the real thing (even some of you back in India).  I also know that you are not on a trip with Anthony Bourdain or Gordon Ramsay on a culinary excursion in India, so your best bet is to try the local options in America and see for yourself.

I”ll show you the best way to do this at home, in America; with ingredients from your grocery store and with the tools available at an American kitchen.  Get ready for your biryani fix – no plane trip required, more importantly, you know what went into your dish.

Here goes:

The Background | The Basics | The ingredients

toppings – sliced almonds, half cashews, raisins, fried onions, mung sprouts, scallion tops, saffron soaked rice

The tools – essentials, advanced.

The technique

The recipes

The results

The sides