Biryani is a part and parcel of many lives in Hyderabad. Almost every localite, irrespective of the caste and religion celebrates with this dish special occasions like weddings, birthdays, parties and even some festivals. It becomes the main dish in their lunch/dinner menu. Till today, for many people in Hyderabad weekend means biryani time! Not just for the local people, Hyderabad's Dum-ka biryani is popular all across the world.
For people outside the city this craze may look mysterious but once they taste the authentic dish, they will surely admire it. But most tourists and people outside the city are always confused whether to eat mutton or chicken biryani.
Since many hotels, restaurants and Irani cafes in the twin cities serve the dish, it is important to choose a good and popular one to have a good experience.
Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani
Chicken is much cheaper than mutton. You can get 1kg of it at around Rs.200 at retail market, whereas mutton costs around Rs.300-350 per kg. Therefore, you get more meat with chicken biryani than mutton biryani. Moreover, many restaurants either do not use good mutton or give only a limited quantity of meat due to its cost. This affects the eating experience. Better to go for chicken dish if you prefer to have more meat.
You can have mutton dish only in a few places, that too during peak hours. Other times it is safer to go for chicken dish. Also, when you are in doubt, it is always better to go for the latter.
Hyderabadi Mutton Biryani
When you cook the dish at home, or having at some other's place, or at a popular restaurant like Paradise, Cafe Bahar, etc., always go for mutton biryani. It is the original and authentic dish from the city.
Meat of the goat in Telangana region is considered as one of the best in the world. The semi arid vegetation of the Deccan plateau with its rolling hills, boulders and volcanic ash is a great place to rear goats. In deltas where land is fertile and no free land exists, goats are not very common.
Chicken is a very late entrant in Hyderabad. It is not uncommon in old time Hyderabadis not to eat it at all or dislike it. It was not part of the regular meats in the city till a couple of decades.
Apart from these two, there are many other varieties of non-vegetarian and vegetarian biryanies today. The creativity of the people invented a number of similar dishes such as fish, prawn, egg and vegetable biryani etc. Mutton and chicken dishes are, however, popular in the city.