Nasi Briyani is a rice-based dish prepared with Indian spices, rice, vegetables, eggs, and usually some type of meat. Its popularity can be attributed to its aromatic flavours and distinctively rich taste.
The main ingredients of Nasi Briyani include spices and condiments such as ghee, nutmeg, mace, cumin, pepper, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, bat leaves, coriander, mint leaves, ginger, onions, and garlic. Non-vegetarian Nasi Briyani, the more popular variant, has meat such as chicken, beef, mutton, prawn, or fish as the main ingredient.
The name ‘Briyani’ is derived from the Persian word ‘berya(n)’ which means ‘fried’ or ‘roasted’. There are two main ways of cooking Nasi Briyani: (1) the ‘dum’ or simmering method, or (2) the ‘pakki’ or absorption method.
In the dum method, semi-cooked or raw marinated meat is cooked with rice, in a covered vessel that prevents steam from escaping. Rice was first fried in Ghee (clarified butter), as this gives the rice a nutty flavour and burns the outside starch layer, and thus gelatinising it. After the rice has been stir-fried, it is then par-boiled in water with spices till half-cooked, before it is layered with meat, and cooked together.
In the pakki method, the meat is cooked separately from the rice. Cooking the meat separately from the rice allows for an abundant amount of gravy, which would otherwise be absorbed by the rice if they were to be cooked together.
Most Nasi Briyani dishes are served with ‘achar’, a pickled salad comprising cucumber, onions, red chilies, and pineapple on the side. In a good plate of Nasi Briyani, the rice has a fluffy texture, and the dishes are complementary to the rice.
Hmmm, tasty! 😋
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