Difference Between Indian and Pakistani Biryani – Which Is Better?

Curious about the difference between Indian and Pakistani biryani? Well, you have landed at the right place! 

Be it cricket matches or political debates, when it comes to India Vs Pakistan, the two nations are always ready with flags in their hands. There is a different passion that ignites each one.

We know there are umpteen differences between the two neighbors, right? However, the similarities exceed them fair and square. And this similarity reflects in their respective cuisines.

We are here to dissect the differences between the variations in Biryani as cooked in the two countries.

Origin of Biryani

Biryani is a much-loved staple food across many countries. It is a variation of simply cooked rice, with additions of spice, meat, and vegetables.

Many theories claim to trace back its origin, and each of them sounds just as convincing. One claims biryani to have Persian roots citing that Mughals brought the dish to India in the 16th century.

Another asserts that it was Macedonian Alexander The Great who introduced biryani in India around 327 BCE. Plov or rice pilaf is said to be the parent of biryani.

The most astonishing one states that biryani evolved from simple rice and beef dish that finds its mention in the Hindu scripture, Brihadaranyaka Upanishad around 700 BCE.

Whatever be the origin, today Biryani has found its way into every heart. Every corner of the world cooks it in a rather special manner giving birth to a new variation altogether.

Difference Between Indian and Pakistani Biryani

Pakistani Cuisine is considered to be of Indian descent, influenced by the Middle Eastern neighbors. To any layman tasting food from the two countries, it’d appear to be almost identical.

The same is the case with Biryani. Pakistan biryani is popularly compared with the Awadhi biryani of India. This is because of the basic similarity in the process of cooking.

If you are a keen observer, you can point out subtleties that might evade a naive eye.

Pakistani biryani has some spices that the Indian biryani lacks. You will find big swollen raisins in your plate of Pakistani biryani whereas they are absent in the Indian biryani.  

Vegetables play a major part in Indian biryani whereas, in Pakistani biryani, there are few or absolutely no vegetables.

In the chicken or mutton biryani, Pakistanis prefer big chunks which can sometimes even be undercooked. In Indian biryani, meat is cooked and marinated properly.

Types of Indian Biryani

India is a diverse country that has an even more diverse culture. This culture is responsible for all the savory culinary variations we find spread across the country.

If we look at the wide view, Biryani is just a basic dish that has so many cousins within the country. Each home has a peculiar way of cooking it.

Here, we are listing some of the many flavors of Indian Biryani:

  1. Awadhi Biryani

Awadhi Biryani is a legacy left behind by the Mughals. The rice is cooked separately, chicken marinated and later added in layers to rice. Biryani cooked in dum pukht style is a true delicacy.

The spices are used in just the right measures to enhance the taste rather than making it a clumsy mix.

  1. Kolkata Biryani

Adding potatoes instead of meat is a signature trait of Kolkata Biryani. Also, it has a little tinge of sweetness to it. 

Nutmeg, cinnamon, mace, cloves, cardamom, and yogurt are used for marinating the meat. Rosewater and saffron are its special ingredients

  1. Momeni Biryani

This version of the biryani exclusively belongs to the Gujarati-Sindhi community of the country. It is known to be the spiciest of all.

There are soft chunks of mutton at the bottom forming a drooling base, topped with rice and diverse spices.

  1. Hyderabadi Biryani

It is said that the cooks of Hyderabad’s Nizam once cooked 47 versions for the royal family. This is why Hyderabad is famous for its diverse range of biryanis. 

Goat meat and rice are cooked together until the flavors seep into the rice. People from around the world come just to taste the much-acclaimed Hyderabadi Biryani.

  1. Malabar Biryani

Malabar Biryani is native to the Kozhikode region of Kerala. It is cooked in dum style making it even moister. 

There are all versions available, though the seafood biryani is most famous. It includes fish and prawn.

  1. Thalassery Biryani

This coastal recipe can be easily found near beaches and docks. Instead of the traditional basmati rice, small-grain Khyma or Jeerakasala is used.

Also, it uses fishes and prawns instead of mutton and chicken. The spice content is also diluted.

  1. Ambur Biryani

This biryani comes from the Tamil Nadu region of the country. It is cooked in coconut milk with dried chili paste. This is the trademark for Ambur Biryani.

Its taste closely resembles Awadhi Biryani but is said to be lighter on the stomach.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is biryani Indian or Pakistani?

Technically, India and Pakistan are formed from the same landmass. The ethnicity of the two nations does not vary much. Hence, biryani cannot be termed as Indian or Pakistani.

Which biryani is best in India?

There is always a fierce debate between the lovers of Awadhi and Hyderabadi biryani whenever this question arises. Now, it is up to you which one mesmerizes you better.

Who invented Biryani?

It is widely believed that Persians are to be credited as the founders of this great dish.

Click here for the nutritional difference between White and Brown Basmati Rice!


Biryani is the ultimate level of love for many. Considering that India and Pakistan are the landmasses from where it spread to the world, there is always an ongoing debate as to which is better.

Every individual has their say in this debate, we mentioned some of the peculiar differences between the same. Also, the many varieties of Indian biryani itself.

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