Thursday, December 15, 2016

How to Judge a Biryani – The 5 Basic Tests

This evening – a kind lady brought me some Mutton Biryani. 

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Mutton Biryani
I took the bowl and started searching inside the Biryani. 

“What are you doing...?” the lady asked.

“I am searching for the potato...” I said to her.

I was carrying out the “Potato Test”.

I found the potato.

I smiled.

The lady smiled knowingly. 

Her Biryani had passed the “Potato Test”.

In fact – her Biryani passed all the 5 Tests of an Authentic Biryani. 

Dear Reader – Do you what are the five basic authenticity tests you must carry out to evaluate a Biryani...?

Read on...

ARE YOU BEING SERVED FAKE BIRYANI ...?

If you walk around Pune – you will find that a “Biryani House” has mushroomed at every nook and corner.

Of course  it is debatable whether the meat-rice mixture they serve would qualify as a Biryani

If you walk around Pune – you will find that a “Biryani House” has mushroomed at every nook and corner.

Most of these eateries serve a spicy medley of meat and rice which they pass off as “Biryani”. 

Earlier – there a few eateries which served decent Biryani – but sadly – even these restaurants have succumbed to “popular demand” – and have “spiced up” their Biryani. 

Nowadays  instead of authentic Biryani  I have seen many restaurants and caterers try to pass off pulaos (and various other medleys and potpourris of meat and rice) as Biryani.

Pulao is not Biryani.

Pulao is prepared by cooking the ingredients together.

In a Biryani the rice and meat are cooked separately  then assembled in layers  and given a “Dum”.

How do you evaluate a Biryani?

What are the qualities of a good Biryani? 

How do you test a Biryani to see whether you are being served a fake Biryani.

Let me delve into my Foodie Writing Archives and pull out this article I wrote more than 16 years ago  in the year 2000  during my Mumbai days  on TESTING and TASTING a BIRYANI  and post it once more for your perusal.

So – next time you eat a Biryani – test it – to see if it is a Good Biryani – or – whether you are being served a Fake Biryani.

BIRYANI
Five Essential Qualities of a Good Biryani
Foodie Self-Help
By
VIKRAM KARVE

A plate of mouthwatering Biryani is placed in front of you.

On first impressions  how do you judge a Biryani…?

Well  as far as I am concerned  there are five basic tests you must carry out to assess a Biryani.


FIVE TESTS TO JUDGE A BIRYANI


Test No. 1

SPREAD TEST

First try the “Spread Test”.

Pick up a little Biryani in your fingers and sprinkle it on the side dish.

The grains of rice must not stick together but remain separate. 

The pieces of meat must be succulent  clear and dry  not greasy  and the meat must easily separate from the rice.

A good Biryani will easily qualify the spread test.


Test No. 2

AROMA TEST

Lift the plate of Biryani  and smell the pieces of meat. 

The Biryani must be pleasantly aromatic  and you must be able to discern the delicate sweetish fragrance and appetizing mouthwatering aroma of marinated spices.

The aroma must not be overpowering, sharp or piquant. 

The Biryani must pass the “aroma test” with flying colours as there is nothing more appetizing than a mouthwatering aroma…!


Test No. 3

TASTE TEST

Taste the meat, ideally mutton. 

The meat must be well-cooked, flavoursome, succulent, delicious.

Then roll some rice on your tongue – the subtle flavour and taste of the spices must mildly and pleasantly come through  and the Biryani must not be overpoweringly spicy, greasy or pungent.


Test No. 4

POTATO TEST

Now you come to the fourth test – the “Potato Test”.

Dig deep  and search for the Potato in the Biryani.

The potatoes must taste as scrumptious as the meat – that is the hallmark of a superlative Biryani.

And  if there is no potato – well dear fellow foodie  tell me  can there be a perfect Biryani without a potato which tastes as delicious as the meat…?


Test No. 5

TEMPERATURE TEST

Finally – here is the fifth test for Biryani. 

Has it been served at the right temperature with light aromatic steam coming out from the rice?

Do you feel the warmth on your tongue when you eat the inner part of the mutton?
 

THE PERFECT BIRYANI
 
So – the next time a plate of Biryani is put in front of you – before you eat it – do carry out these five simple tests – and tell us all about it.

Did the Biryani pass all the tests with flying colours? 

Is it a Perfect Biryani...? 

Or – is it a greasy potpourri of rice and meat – or a Pulao – a Fake Biryani – masquerading as an authentic Biryani...?

HAPPY BIRYANI EATING

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
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Disclaimer:
1. These are my personal views based on my personal experience. Please do your own due diligence while testing a Biryani.
2. All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)

This is an updated and revised version of my article on HOW TO JUDGE A BIRYANI written be me Vikram Karve more than 16 years ago in the year 2000 and posted online earlier in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog on 30 Nov 2010 at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2010/11/biryani-how-to-judge-biryani-four-tests.html and reposted a number of times in my various blogs at urls http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2011/05/perfect-biryani-tasting-and-testing.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/12/what-is-good-biryani-5-tests.html  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/03/are-you-being-served-fake-biryani.html etc
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