Quick Aloo Biryani
Hyderabadi aloo biryani is a quick & easy recipe aka Dum biryani made with baby potatoes. I get a question asked frequently, what is the difference between Biriyani and Pulao?
Pilaf or Pulao, as it is known in the South Asia and the Indian Subcontinent, is another mixed rice dish popular in Indian, Pakistani and Middle Eastern cuisine. Opinions differ on the differences between pulao and biryani, and whether there is a difference between the two at all.
According to Delhi-based historian Sohail Nakhvi, Pulao tends to be (comparatively) plainer than the biryani and consists of either vegetables or meat cooked with rice. Biryani on the other hand contains more gravy (due to the use of yakhni in it), is often cooked for longer (hence yielding more tender meat or vegetables) and with additional condiments. Pratibha Karan states that while the terms are often applied arbitrarily, the main distinction is that a biryani comprises two layers of rice with a layer of meat (or vegetables) in the middle; the pulao is not layered.
Colleen Taylor Sen lists the following three distinctions between biryani and pulao:
Biryani is the primary dish in a meal, while the pulao is usually a secondary accompaniment in a larger meal
In biryani, meat and rice are cooked separately before being layered and cooked together. Pulao is a single-pot dish: meat and rice are simmered in a liquid until the liquid is absorbed. However, some other writers, such as Holly Shaffer (based on her observations in Lucknow), R. K. Saxena and Sangeeta Bhatnagar have reported pulao recipes in which the rice and meat are cooked separately and then mixed before the dum cooking.
Biryanis have more complex and stronger spices, compared to pulao. The British-era author Abdul Halim Sharar mentions this as the primary difference between biryani and pulao: the biryani has a stronger taste of curried rice due to a greater amount of spices.