Kolkata vs Hyderabadi Biryani: Difference and Comparison

Biryani is a blended rice dish that originated within the Indian subcontinent’s Muslim traditions. It’s prepared using Indian-flavored spices, rice, and either meat or eggs, as well as vegetables like potatoes.

Kolkata Biryani and Hyderabadi Biryani are the two most popular delicacies in the region of Kolkata and Hyderabad. Both are Biryani, but what makes them different? To answer this question, let’s begin with the article.

Key Takeaways

  1. Kolkata biryani features subtler spices and includes potatoes, while Hyderabadi biryani uses more robust spices and focuses on meat.
  2. Kolkata biryani is cooked using the slow-cooking Dum Pukht method, while Hyderabadi biryani can be prepared using either the Kacchi (raw) or Pakki (cooked) method.
  3. Kolkata biryani originates from the Bengal region, while Hyderabadi biryani hails from Hyderabad in Southern India.

Kolkata Biryani vs Hyderabadi Biryani

The difference between Kolkata Biryani and Hyderabadi Biryani is that the combination of eggs and potatoes is a signature of Kolkata Biryani. In Kolkata Biryani, the rice and meat are prepared individually. It is also gentle and light to the stomach as compared to Hyderabadi Biryani. On the other hand, Hyderabadi Biryani is made from a blend of basmati and a large portion of chicken. It is known for its powerful spices and appearance.

Kolkata Biryani vs Hyderabadi Biryani

Kolkata Biryani: The classic Kolkata Biryani is a meal in which the chicken and potatoes are gradually cooked in clarified butter over low flame.

The raw rice, meat, and potatoes are then piled in a large pot locally known as handi, along with spices including cardamom, nutmeg, saffron, cloves, etc. Kolkata Biryani is healthier and more gentle to the stomach than other biryani.

Hyderabadi Biryani: Basmati, goat, lamb, or chicken, lemon, yoghurt, onions, and saffron make up Hyderabadi Biryani, a South Indian meal.

The unusual procedure of preparing raw rice and raw meat combined with exotic seasonings is supposed to give Hyderabadi biryani its rich flavour, as opposed to other regions where meat and rice are prepared individually.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonKolkata BiryaniHyderabadi Biryani
RegionKolkataHyderabad
Main ingredientsBasmati Rice
Spices
Saffron
Meat
Potato, etc
Basmati rice
Goat meat
Chicken
Vegetables
Spices, etc
Originated  in1856 The 1630s,
Invented byNawab Wajid Ali ShahNiza-Ul-Mulk
TasteLess spicy with the combination of potatoesUsually meaty and spicy

What is Kolkata Biryani?

Kolkata Biryani is incredibly light, which is low in essence and hue, and mildly flavoured, with just enough spices to accentuate the flavour. Rice is boiled in a large pot with cooked meat, spices, and browned potatoes (handi).

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Kolkata Biryani is a much lighter variant of biryani with no essence. The meat in a Hyderabadi biryani is prepared so that the spices are deeply infused, whereas the murgh musallam or murgh chaap in a Kolkata Biryani is essentially a creamier form of lovingly processed chicken.

History of Kolkata Biryani: The Kolkata variant of biryani originated when Wajid Ali Shah, the last nawab of Awadh, was banished to the Kolkata suburb of Metiaburj in 1856.

He did, however, remember to bring his private chef, as he was very picky about his meals.

As the British had claimed his property and throne, there was not enough money or facility left with him as a result of the recession, and potato was substituted for meat.

Potatoes not only substituted meat but also increased the quantity and taste of the food. And most importantly, Wajid Ali Shah liked it so much that he ordered that biryani would be cooked along with potatoes going forth.

Later on, this became a distinctive feature of Kolkata Biryani, but it is also served with meat. 

The speciality of Kolkata Biryani: People love to eat Kolkata Biryani, the taste of Kolkata Biryani is light and mild, and it is said to be healthier than other biryani.

Derived from the Lucknow Style, this biryani has become popular among food lovers. What makes it so special? Let’s have a peek.

1.  The introduction of potatoes in the biryani makes it more delicious and flavorful.

2. The combination of potatoes and eggs infused with different spices makes it a mouth-watery delicacy.

3. The long-grained rice that is used to make Kolkata Biryani is light, fluffy, and delicious.

4. Kolkata Biryani is cooked on a low flame, mixing the spices completely with the other ingredients, and the flavour is evenly distributed, making it more delicious.

kolkata biryani 1

What is Hyderabadi Biryani?

Hyderabadi Biryani has a distinct flavour profile. Everything about it, from the fragrance to the flavour to the soft meat to the Zaffran, provides it with a distinctive look.

Hyderabadi Biryani may taste familiar to those who have had Lucknow Biryani. Both biryanis are Mughals in origin; however, the meal in the south is spiced with regional ingredients.

Hyderabadi biryani is a spicy dish with a unique saffron flavour. Hyderabadi biryani’s spicy and peppery flavour reflects the Andhra influence on Mughals cuisine.

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The food of Hyderabad has a mix of Mughals, Turkish, Arabic influences, and native Telugu and Marathwada cultures. 

History of Hyderabadi Biryani: In the 1630s, the Mughals invaded Hyderabad, which the Nizams then controlled during that time, Hyderabadi meal became a combination of Mughlai and indigenous culinary cultures.

Hyderabadi biryani was invented by the cook of the first Nizam, Nizam-ul-Mulk, Asaf Jah I, while a hunting expedition in the mid-eighteenth century.

When the Mughal Empire fell apart in Delhi in 1857, Hyderabad became the epicenter of South Asian tradition, culminating in a fusion of culinary that marked the creation of Hyderabadi Biryani.

The speciality of Hyderabadi Biryani: Hyderabadi Biryani is one of the most renowned biryani in India, people love its spicy taste and the meat that is completely drowned with flavours and spices. What are the features that make it so popular, let’s find out:

1. It has a unique way of cooking, which is different from other biryani giving it more flavour and uniqueness.

2. The traditional Hyderabadi Biryani is made studiously in the ‘Kutchi’ biryani method, in which uncooked rice and raw meat are prepared along with different spices and a little water in the pot.

3. Hyderabadi Biryani is meaty and peppery, with a nice saffron hue.

4. Hyderabadi Biryani tastes divine thanks to exotic raisins, rich flavours, and delicious basmati rice.

biryani

Main Differences Between Kolkata Biryani and Hyderabadi Biryani

  1. Kolkata Biryani is less spicy than Hyderabadi Biryani.
  2. Kolkata Biryani is cooked along with potato, which is not used in Hyderabadi Biryani.
  3. Kolkata Biryani is healthier as compared to Hyderabadi Biryani.
  4. As compared to Kolkata Biryani, Hyderabadi Biryani is more popular.
  5. Kolkata Biryani is also referred to as Kachchi Biryani, while Hyderabadi Biryani is also known as Dum Biryani.
Difference Between Kolkata Biryani and Hyderabadi Biryani
References
  1. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1057/9781137367105_5
  2. https://www.igi-global.com/chapter/culture-and-authenticity-denominations-in-bengali-themed-restaurants/165072

Last Updated : 27 July, 2023

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