Few years ago, Biryani was known as a “foreign dish” but now this dish made of rice and meat has made inroads into Kashmir’s otherwise limited palate.
The taste of the Kashmiri Wazwaan had stayed on the taste buds of Kashmiris for the last six centruries. The restaurants here are famous for Wazwaan but now Biryani is giving a tough competition to Kashmiri Wazwaan. Even, one of the oldest eatery in Srinagar ‘The Mughal Darbar Restaurant’ which was famous for serving Wazwaan has added Biryani to their Menu List as a give up to the changed trend.
Biryani is an on-the-go meal. It is the new taste bud tickler especially for youngsters as traditional cuisine takes a biting.
According to the local population, the Biryani was first served in Kashmir by Mummy Please Restaurant and now after two decades, more than eighty percent of customers at this restaurant order Biryani without even looking at the menu.
Ahmad, who is working at the restaurant since last 20 years, has witnessed the change in Kashmir’s appetite for Wazwaan quite closely. “This generation loves to experiment when it comes to food. They are no more Wazwaan crazy,” feels Ahmad.
Besides generation’s love for experimentation, another important factor that can be owed to the increasing popularity of Biryani in Kashmir is its cost and ease to prepare it. A complete seven dish Wazwaan meal can cost a customer around Rs 1500, compared to a plate of Biryani which costs just Rs. 100. That is why it is popular with students fits in their budget easily.
Also, Waazwan is a multi-course cuisine which is made up of at least seven meat dishes but on the other hand Biryani is an on-the-go meal that you can carry along and enjoy with your friends in a garden or on a vacation.
A number of roadside kiosks are also cashing on the popularity of Biryani in Kashmir. These are mostly run by non-locals, have come up across Srinagar. They sell Biryani as it is the new hot favourite and don’t need large space or too many utensils. One can even manage his business by serving it in disposable plastic plates.
Here is how you can make it at home:
- 1 kg meat
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 1 Tbsp ginger garlic paste
- 1 Tbsp red chilli paste
- 1 Tbsp green chilli paste sauteed brown onions to taste
- 1/2 Tbsp cardamom powder
- 3-4 sticks cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp cumin seeds
- 4 cloves pinch of mace mint leaves to taste
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 250 gm curd
- 4 Tbsp clarified butter
- 750 gm semi cooked rice
- 1 tsp saffron
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup of oil
Clean the meat. Then in a pan add meat, salt, ginger garlic paste, red chilli powder, green chilli paste, sauteed brown onions, cardamom powder, cinnamon, cumin seeds, cloves, mace, mint leaves and lemon juice. Mix it well.
Add curd, clarified butter, semi cooked rice, saffron, water and oil and mix it well.
Now apply sticky dough on the sides of the pan.
Cover with lid to seal it and cook for about 25 minutes.
Hyderabadi Biryani is ready to eat. Garnish it with boiled eggs, sliced carrots, cucumbers and serve hot.