The origin of Biryani is unclear. The word is Hindustani, and seems to have its roots in Persian, the official language in many parts of medieval India. Some believe that the word comes from birinj, the Persian word for rice, others that it originated from biryan or beriyan - ‘to fry’ or ‘to roast’.
Yet it seems the recipe became popular as early as the 2nd century, when it was said to be served to soldiers in the Tamil community. The dish was made in clay pots with rice, ghee, meat, turmeric, coriander, pepper and bay leaves. In the North of the country, different varieties developed in the centres of Delhi and Lucknow. In the South, where rice is more of a staple dish, distinct varieties developed in Karnataka, Kerala and Hyderabad.
Biryani at the Indian Ocean
And it’s from Hyderabad that our chefs at the Indian Ocean draw their inspiration. Our delicious Darbari Biryani is a beautiful dish and is a favourite amongst our regular diners. The dish is cooked with pilau and saffron rice together with tender chicken, lamb, juicy prawns, lightly fried onions and exotic spices. It’s served with raita and salad.
In the Shahi Biryani, the same selection of meats is used and is cooked with peas and saffron rice in an exotic mix of spices. What makes this dish different though? It’s topped with an omelette and served on a bed of crisp, fresh lettuce.
The Chef’s Biryani contains pieces of chicken, lamb and prawn tikka. They’re stir-fried with peas, onions, saffron, cashew nuts, pistachios, almonds and sultanas together with Basmati rice, to create a heavenly dish that’s both soft and crunchy at the same time.
Our Ocean Biryani is extra special, and is one of the best dishes we offer. It’s a spice explosion, made with saffron, cumin, coriander seed, peppercorns, cardamom, mace, a hint of garlic and freshly crushed ginger. Tandoori king prawns are cooked in butter and this spicy selection before a squeeze of lemon juice is added too. They’re then cooked in the finest Lahori Basmati rice with channa, resulting in a refreshing, highly aromatic dish.
So if tonight you want to eat at an Indian restaurant, Tameside based The Indian Ocean is the one for you. Try one of our brilliant Biryanis, or, if you prefer something different, check out our menu here. There’s something for everyone!
Call 0161 343 3343 to book.