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What is Biryani?

A combined rice dish known as “biryani” (/brjni/) was invented by Muslims on the Indian subcontinent. It is prepared with rice, Indian spices, and typically some form of meat (chicken, beef, goat, lamb, shrimp, fish), however it can also be made without any meat and occasionally with the addition of eggs and potatoes.

One of the most well-liked foods in South Asia and among the diaspora from the region is biryani. In various countries throughout the world, including Iraq, Thailand, and Malaysia, meals similar to these are also made. The most often requested cuisine in India according to online food ordering and delivery services is biryani, which has also been dubbed the nation’s favorite dish overall.

Getty Images/ Moment/ Photo by Rafa Elias

According to one idea, it came from the Persian term for rice, birinj (Persian: ). Another hypothesis is that it derives from the Persian verbs biryan or briyani, which mean “to fry” or “to roast.” As the meal is frequently made by flavoring rice with fried onions, pork, and mild spices, it may also be linked to the Persian term bereshtan, which also means “to roast (onions).” Different Islamic rulers utilized Persian as the official language in distinct regions of medieval India.

Another combined rice dish that is well-known in Middle Eastern, Central Asian, and Indian sub continental cuisines is called “pilaf” or “pulao,” as it is known on the Indian subcontinent. Whether there is a distinction between pulao and biryani and how they vary is a matter of debate. According to Delhi-based historian Sohail Hashmi, pulao is often simpler than biryani and is made out of rice cooked with either meat or vegetables, with potatoes or onions piled on the bottom. The meat (and veggies, if present) are more tender and the rice is more flavorful in a biryani because it has more sauce (or yakhni) and is frequently cooked longer. Additionally, extra sauces are used during cooking the biryani, and the bottom frequently has a thin coating of socarrate.