Biryani Origins

downloadGail Summons once said “Patience is the secret to good food”.

And when mouth watering Biryani is all about to be served on your plate then you wait for endless hours without cribbing much. Nothing seems useful when you are sitting in a house-full restaurant with an empty stomach and only thought keeps on badgering you that when will your order arrive.Your eyeballs are always roving, it keeps on moving from one table to another. The aroma of biryani mixed with herbal warm scent of spices make every foodie drool at just the imagination which you wish to savour for keeps .

Well my mind went a way back to inquire into the origins of Biryani . Legend has it that Mumtaz, wife of Shah Jahan, once visited army barracks and found that army was undernourished. She ordered her chef to prepare such a meal to feed  armymen which would nourish them with nutrients. The chef came out with the idea of ‘Biryani’ a meal prepared with meat and rice.This is just a half part of the story ,critics of Biryani assert that it got originated in Persia and came to the shores of North India via Afghanistan. Some say that it was brought by the Arab traders to Calicut in South India.

Today there are many varieties of Biryani but the most famous biryanis are of Hyderabd , Lucknow and Calcutta. Calcutta’s (Kolkata) Biryani has an interesting fact that during the exile of Nawab of Awadh , Wajid Ali Shah (circa 1856) to Calcutta, he ordered a Biryani feast for the labourers, who were building Shahi Imambara near the city.Since the poor Nawab could not afford meat for his men so he offered biryani with potatoes. In this way he transformed the Awadhi cuisine of Lucknow in his own style. The dish came to be popularly known as ‘Calcutta Biryani’.

My thoughts got interrupted  when the waiter of Kolkata House ,Nehru Place waiter said “the dish is all set to serve maa’m” . Well not much curious about the controversy behind biryani, I thought it was better to just focus on the food. With this lingering thought, I devoured the half plate in a blink.


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