Who doesn’t love Biryani? It is a dish which needs no introduction. India has a variety of Biryani’s to offer. Some are locally flavoured and few are improvised versions of other. Do you know the history of this mouth-watering dish in India? So if you are a die-hard fan of this evergreen dish, here is a story to tickle your taste buds!!!
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Biryani is derived from the Persian word ‘Birian’, which means ‘fried before cooking’ and ‘Birinj’, the Persian word for rice. There are several stories related to the origin of this delicious dish. The first story suggests that Turk-Mongol conqueror, Timur, brought Biryani with him when he arrived at the frontiers of India in 1398. An earthen pot full of rice, spices and whatever meats were available would be buried in a hot pit, before being eventually dug up and served to the warriors of Timur’s army as a war campaign diet.The second story suggests that the dish made its way from the southern Malabar coast of India by Arab traders. There was a rice dish known as ‘Oon Soru’ in Tamil literature as early as 2 A.D. ‘Oon Soru’ was said to be made of rice, ghee, meat, turmeric, coriander, pepper, and bay leaf, and was used to feed military warriors.The third story states that Mumtaz Mahal, wife of Shah Jahan, once visited the army barrack and was disappointed to see the Mughal soldiers weak and undernourished. She asked the chef to prepare a special dish that combined rice and meat with all the necessary spices to provide balanced nutrition to the soldiers. This story is believed to be the History of Biryani in India.The Nizams of Hyderabad and Nawabs of Lucknow were responsible for popularising their versions of the Biryani. In general, there are two types of Biryani the Kutchi (raw) biryani and Pukki (cooked) biryani. In Kutchi biryani, the meat is layered with raw rice in a handi and cooked while in Pukki biryani cooked meat and rice are layered in the handi.From an army dish to a dish fit for royalty, the biryani today is a favourite dish of India. The varieties of the dish reflect the local tastes and tradition of the region. This is a dish that suits all occasions whether it is a college get together or a formal dinner.
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