A plateful of biryani makes everything seem instantly better. Decadent, packed with nutrition and ever so satisfying, this dish fulfilling, indulgent self-sufficient, even without a side.
But, when has ma ever served a single dish, without any condiments on the table? Be it the it-won’t-look-nice-ideology or the how-can-you-eat-rice-without-a-gravy rhetoric, just like there are a gazillion variations and alternatives to the royal biryani preparation, a plethora of accompaniments exist to go along with the dish, making it taste even more regally toothsome.
Green Mango Raita
The green mango raita bears a strong resemblance to a cucumber raita in flavour. It is a refreshing, beat-the-heat side option that balances the spicy zest of the biryani and soothes the stomach. The tanginess of the raw mango is subtly neutralised using green chillies and coriander leaves. The end-product is a simple raita that is tasteful, healthy and classic accompaniment to the biryani, especially if served with fresh mint chutney and masala papad.
Making a biryani requires a lot of time, patience and effort, which is why it’s best to allow it to be the main point of focus and serve it along with a simple dish that is rich in flavour but easy-to-digest. Nothing comes even close to the evergreen dal-chawal combination that fits the aforementioned profile perfectly. This recipe is easy-to-cook, but can easily be passed off as a fancy accompaniment if garnished with rose-carved tomatoes, fried onions and coriander leaves, with some salad, served on the side.
A typical Bengali or Maharashtrian preparation of biryani comprises of spiced, fried potatoes as an integral component. However, potatoes pair excellently with other variations of this meaty basmati rice as well, enhancing the already supreme flavour by leaps and bounds. This scrumptious, peppery dum aloo is an all-time favourite in most vegetarian households. Served with some garlic chutney, fresh lemon pieces and masala onions, this dum biryani-aloo combination is irresistibly lethal.
Eggs are the ideal go-to healthy snack that is fit to be eaten at any point of the day, be it breakfast or a midnight hunger pang. It is very versatile in the number of ways it can be consumed, but this particular concoction is a favourite. The curry is spicy, bursting with flavour and so very nutritious with all the protein it brings to the table. It can be prepared within minutes too. The egg curry tastes best when served with a plateful of Awadhi Dum Biryani.
Rasam is an authentic South Indian recipe that is extremely popular across India. It can be offered as a warm refreshment, or alongside the main course of curd, rice and a vegetable. Some cities in the South make a tangier, peppery preparation to be had with biryani. Rasam is rich in antioxidants due to the tamarind component in its recipe, which makes it a great remedy to keep one’s skin glowing and supple.
Bagara baingan is a classic south Indian preparation where an array of spices are amalgamated into a mixture and stuffed inside slit eggplants. Eggplant is a source of essential vitamins and minerals, which makes it a healthy side to a plate of sinful ghee biryani. The presence of dietary fibre makes it a digestion-stimulant as well.
-By Anushree Kanoi