Watch | How is the long-grained Travancore biryani prepared?

How is the long-grained Travancore biryani prepared?

What was the aromatic biryani that whetted your appetite for more biryani?

For years, this long-grained fragrant rice biryani was a staple in the upmarket and small restaurants and eateries in the former Travancore region.

But over time, the culinary landscape witnessed a shift.

Thalassery and Malabar biryanis, cooked with small-grained Kaima rice or jeerakashala rice, gained popularity, and many restaurants followed suit.

However, one restaurant remained steadfast in preserving the old culinary legacy.

It is The Azad Hotel in Thiruvananthapuram

So, how is this special biriyani prepared? Let’s dive in

The mutton or chicken and rice are cooked separately until they are three-fourths done.

The masala is made first by sauteeing the onions, tomatoes, and ginger-garlic paste along with spices such as cinnamon, cloves, star anise etc in a huge cauldron, into which coconut oil and ghee have been added.

In the meantime, Basmati rice is washed and kept ready to be put in the salted boiling water.

Lime juice is added to the water and once the rice is put into it, it is left undisturbed, to ensure the rice doesn’t get mushy

As soon as the rice is half cooked, it is strained from the water and kept aside.

For chicken biryani, oil and ghee are poured into it and the masala is added 

The sauteed masala is weighed before it is put into the vessel, followed by chicken pieces and curd.

Whereas for mutton biryani, the mutton pieces are added to the oil along with spices and cooked before the masala and curd are added.

Then, the partially cooked rice is carefully layered over the mutton or chicken gravy

Later, it is garnished with coriander leaves, fried onion and cashewnuts before the next layer of cooked rice is added.

Finally, generous spoonfuls of ghee are added and the lid is closed.

They also make a dough of maida and water. Then it is rolled into long, thick ropes to tighten the lid for dum

The vessel is then placed on a low flame, and coals are added to the lid, allowing the biryani to cook in the dum style.

The result is a symphony of flavours where every grain of rice absorbs the essence of the tender meat and aromatic spices.

Today, Azad Hotel continues to be a beacon of nostalgia for those seeking the authentic taste of Travancore biryani

Read full story here

Reporting: Saraswathy Nagarajan

Voiceover: Gopika K P

Production: Reenu Cyriac

Videos: Sreejith R Kumar

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