fBiryani has seen way more history than we have. Shrouded as it is in mystery and a melange of mouth-watering spices, several legends abound the delectable spiced rice and meat mixture that came to be in India.
It might have been spotted when the widely feared Turk-Mongol conqueror, Timur arrived with his army to the borders of India in 1398. The dish was part of war diet for his army. An earthen pot was filled with rice, spices and whatever meat was available and buried in a hot pit to be dug up and eaten by the warriors.
It held considerable sway in the Mughal era and its dining rooms. Mughal emperors known for their lavish lifestyles and epicurean tastes loved a good biryani with its tender pieces of meat and fragrant rice.
Another legend puts the dish back to 2 A.D. in the southern Malabar coast of India. Records of Oon Soru, a spiced rice and meat mixture were found in Tamil literature.
Yet another narrative attributes its invention to Mumtaz Mahal, Shah Jahan’s beautiful queen, who found their soldiers looking undernourished and ordered the chefs to combine both rice and meat for their nourishment.
Biryani’s fan following since hasn’t diminished with delectable variations of the same dish modified to suit regional palates. Try proclaiming your region’s biryani as superior and you’ll watch tensions rising and full blown wars escalating. Clearly, biryani is a dish which plays heavily with people’s emotions. Here’s a look at the different varieties of biryani available throughout India.