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History of Biriyani

Biryani comes from the Persian word 'birian' which means 'fried before cooking'

Or that, though it is considered a royal dish of the Nizams and the Nawabs it was never ever served to the royal guests?

The exact origin of the dish is uncertain. In North India, different varieties of biryani developed in the Muslim centers of Delhi (Mughlai cuisine), Lucknow (Awadhi cuisine) and other small principalities. In South India, where rice is more widely used as a staple food, several distinct varieties of biryani emerged from Telangana (specifically Hyderabad), Tamil Nadu (Ambur), Kerala (Malabar), and Karnataka, where Muslim communities were present. Indian restaurateur Kris Dhillon believes that the dish originated in Persia, and was brought to India by the Mughals. Another theory claims that the dish was prepared in India before the first Mughal emperor Babur came to India. The 16th-century Mughal text Ain-i-Akbari makes no distinction between biryanis and pilaf (or pulao): it states that the word "biryani" is of older usage in India. A similar theory, that biryani came to India with Timur's invasion, appears to be incorrect, because there is no record of biryani having existed in his native land during that period.

According to historian Lizzie Collingham, the modern biryani developed in the royal kitchens of the Mughal Empire (1526–1857) and is a mix of the native spicy rice dishes of India and the Persian pilaf.

One legend has it that the Turk-Mongol conqueror, Timur, brought the precursor to the biryani with him when he arrived at the frontiers of India in 1398. Believed to be the war campaign diet of Timur’s army, 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.

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