What is the difference between Lucknowi Biryani and Hyderabadi Biryani?

The difference between Lucknowi Biryani and Hyderabadi Biryani

Lucknowi (Awadhi) Biryani

  1. Origin: Lucknowi Biryani hails from the Awadh region, specifically Lucknow, in northern India. It has its roots in the royal kitchens of the Nawabs of Awadh.
  2. Cooking Method: This biryani follows the “dum pukht” method, where the meat and rice are cooked separately and then layered together. The layers are then sealed and cooked on a low flame to allow the flavours to meld together.
  3. Spices and Flavors: The Lucknowi Biryani is known for its mild and subtle flavours. It uses a balanced combination of spices like saffron, cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves. The emphasis is on aroma and delicate flavours rather than spiciness.
  4. Ingredients: Typically made with basmati rice, tender meat (usually mutton or chicken), and various aromatic spices. Using saffron and kewra (pandan) water gives it a unique fragrance.
  5. Texture: The rice in Lucknowi Biryani is usually very fluffy, and the grains remain separate, providing a light and delicate texture.

Hyderabadi Biryani

  1. Origin: Hyderabadi Biryani originates from Hyderabad, in southern India. It was developed in the kitchens of the Nizams of Hyderabad.
  2. Cooking Method: There are two primary methods: Kacchi Biryani, where raw marinated meat is layered with partially cooked rice and then cooked together, and Pakki Biryani, where cooked meat and rice are layered and cooked together.
  3. Spices and Flavors: Hyderabadi Biryani is known for its robust and rich flavours. It uses a variety of spices, including ginger, garlic, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaves, coriander, mint, and green chillies. This biryani tends to be spicier than the Lucknowi version.
  4. Ingredients: Like Lucknowi Biryani, it uses basmati rice and meat (commonly mutton or chicken), but the marination often includes yoghurt, fried onions, and a variety of spices. It may also include saffron and lemon juice.
  5. Texture: The rice in Hyderabadi Biryani can be slightly more moist due to the marination of the meat and the cooking method. The layers of meat and rice often result in a rich, flavorful, and slightly more robust texture than the Lucknowi version.


  • Flavor Profile: Lucknowi Biryani is mild and aromatic, while Hyderabadi Biryani is spicier and more robust.
  • Cooking Method: Lucknowi Biryani uses the dum pukht method with pre-cooked ingredients, whereas Hyderabadi Biryani can be cooked using kacchi or pakki.
  • Texture: Lucknowi Biryani is light and fluffy, with each grain of rice separate, while Hyderabadi Biryani can be more moist and richly layered.
  • Spices: Lucknowi Biryani uses fewer and milder spices, focusing on aromatic elements, while Hyderabadi Biryani uses a more extensive and spicier mix of spices.

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