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Where does biryani come from?

By:- anit Chauhan

Biryani has originated from Persia Iran and has travelled the route to reach all through India. Biryani is derived from a “beryan” which means fried or roasted. Based on the name is the cooking style which is called “dum” style. One can say that the history of biryani has started from Arabic counties. It could be brought by the Arab trade route too. There are various types of biryanis in India – Awadhi (lucknowi) biryani, Calcutta biryani, hyderabadi biryani, tahiri biryani.

However I personally feel hyderabadi biryani is something which you can't miss, if you are on a small trip to Hyderabad/secunderabad. An interesting story traces the origins of the dish to Mumtaz Mahal, Shah Jahan’s queen who inspired the Taj Mahal. It is said that she once visited army barracks and found the army personnel under-nourished. She asked the chef to prepare a special dish which provides balanced nutrition, and thus the biryani was created. One legend has it that Timor, the lame brought it down from Kazakhstan via Afghanistan to Northern India.

Another legend say the Nomads would bury an earthen pot full of meat, rice and spices in a pit, eventually the pot was dug up and there was the Biryani. There are several other such stories but dum biryani on Sunday lunch is something which I carve for. Though it takes a hell lot of efforts to cook a perfect dum biryani at home but it gives me a feeling of royalness, as back in 80's nawabs and nizams use to hire Hindus as bookkeepers to the development of Tahiri Biryani. In other places of the world we do have many other varieties like Indonesian biryani, Malaysian biryani, Iranian beriani, Turkish pilaf, British biryani, srilankan buryani and many more. Dum biryanis often qualify as non-veg biryani but at many a places you will find veg dum-biryani, it's just the technique which differs the normal and dum biryani.