Food for Thought: Biryani – The Peak
Dive into the cultural, political, and personal significance of food
By: Tamanna T., Staff Writer
Staying inside during Vancouver’s recent cold snap inspired me to make some dishes from India, my home country. Ever since I was young, biryani was made at my house on special occasions, so I decided to try and make it on Christmas. Biryani is a culmination of everything aromatic — from the spices to the rice, a specialty of the dish is being able to distinguish each smell separately.
Biryani is said to be native to Persian cuisine, and was brought to India by the Mughals. A legend states that one of emperor Shah Jahan’s wives, Mumtaz Mahal, inspired the first variation of biryani when she asked a chef to prepare a dish of meat and rice for some soldiers. The dish quickly rose to fame and became a household favourite. The relation between food, history, and storytelling from India never ceases to amaze me.
I remember my mother and father having different recipes for biryani. My mother, being a vegetarian, made veg biryani, and my father, a fan of poultry, made his famous chicken biryani.
Biryani isn’t the easiest dish to make, but once it is done, nothing can compare to its rich taste!
For vegetarian biryani (adapted from Swasthi’s Recipes):
Each serving can feed 3–4 people, or if you’re like me and live by yourself, you’ll have it at least twice in one day.
For those who can’t make it at home, Agra Tandoori Restaurant in Burnaby makes amazing veg biryani, so check them out.
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