Biryani can often look like a dish of pulao, but far from it; the two are actually quite different. Pulao has all of its ingredients fried together in oil mixing all the flavours in each bite), whereas each spoonful of steamed Biryani can be unique, created out of separate ingredients.
Pre-steamed rice is layered into a massive cooking vessel, each time sifted over with dry spice combinations of cumin, nutmeg, cardamom and of course, turmeric. It is then sprinkled with a final layer of toppings, usually carrots or peanuts, before being served with a few strips of meat.
With each layer added individually, there is no stirring or mixing of ingredients until the rice is in the plate. One is basically served a cross-section of the entire cooking pot, and you can see and enjoy each morsel of the delicacy.
Biryani is usually accompanied by raita (light yoghurt). A plate of Biryani is just perfect for a midday snack walking around the streets of a bustling city in Pakistan. It is the highlight of many a Sunday lunch. The crowning jewel of sorts at weddings and other receptions.
By most accounts, Karachi is deemed the ultimate hub of Biryani. The versions that are most popular with society are Bombay, Hyderabad, Sindhi and Chicken.