And God created 'Biriyani'

"God created the world. He created plants, animals and then humans. He created everything beautiful in this world one by one.........  
.......And then God created biriyani*."
'What nonsense? Keep your Biblical spirits to yourself. God didn't create biriyani, it is just a man made dish, that too out of coincidence. If you don't know the real story, then I've to correct you.' 

'I know, I know - but hold that argument for a minute. What I am saying is that Biriyani is not just a dish - it is what lasagna does to Garfield. 
We're preparing the royal lasagna, sire. Unless you prefer another dish.
Did you say dish? Lasagna's not a dish, windbag. It's a way of life. A state of being one's perfect achievement. What did the Indians serve to the Pilgrims? Lasagna. What did Marie Antoinette scream to the rebel? "Let them eat lasagna." What did Neil Armstrong say when he landed on the moon? "That's one small slice of lasagna." It's not a dish. It's the stuff of dreams. It's the food of the gods. It's what's for lunch.
Think of the smell of pure ghee (form of clarified butter) and 'Jafran' (a kind of spices) that hits your senses when it is served on a plate before you. Think about the first mouthful you take and tell yourself that how are you going to enjoy yourself for next couple of minutes. Difficult to put in words, eh?'

'Oh! all that is correct and fine! But that doesn't prove anything. The Mughal soldiers used to mix a great bowl of meat, rice and ghee and put that in a very low flame when they set out for the battle. It would cook slowly, blend everything into some sort of edible stuff without much effort. So it has more to do with the ease of cooking than actual delicacy.'

'Pure atheists, huh? There is a pretty interesting story behind all this.'

'Oh! now there is a story? Go on-'

'Right! and thanks of course. When I was in the university, I used to cook biriyani in the student hostel itself, with mere a pressure cooker-'

'And that is your interesting story?' 

'..Listen, that thing - whatever it was, became fairly popular among my friends and it gave me immense confidence that I was one good cook when it came to biriyani. But fate betrayed. When I started working, I promised my colleagues that I will prepare biriyani for them as well and it failed miserably. I took a second chance at it and that didn't go quite well either....'


'There is more to it. I became a laughing stock for them. I didn't have facts to back it up. Whenever I tried to say that I actually know how to cook biriyani; Pankaj would say that he used to play in Ranji cricket team or Soumik would say that he was 6 feet tall. I was hell bent to prove them wrong - and I didn't have a chance. I moved from one step further in perfecting my culinary skills - tried and finally made a biriyani, that cleared my name from the trauma and shame in front of my friends. And then I realized, it is such a tricky and delicate preparation, that one small mistake can ruin it all - so the person who has made the proportions just right, boiled it perfectly and cooked the meat just right, has to be God.'

'Ah! so you are saying that God didn't create biriyani, but the cook rises up to play God. Is it?'


We were savouring every mouthful of Hydrabadi kachhi biriyani, the latest on my cookbook and had this little argument, which after a while were silenced till the plates emptied, re-filled and emptied and we could eat no more. 

* Thanks to Wikipedia: Biryani, biriani, biriyani, buriyani, beryani or beriani is a rice-based dish made with spices, rice (usually basmati) and chicken, mutton, fish, eggs or vegetables. The name is derived from the Persian word beryā(n) which means "fried" or "roasted". Biryani was believed to have been invented in the kitchen of Mughal Emperors. It is very popular in the Indian subcontinent and is a key element of the South Asian cuisine. Hyderabad, Malabar, Delhi/Agra, Dhaka, Kashmir, Kolkata, Lucknow and Lahore, are the main centres of biryani cuisine.


Anonymous said...

Yum...I know what to have for my weekend lunch now!

Abhra said...

Oh! I am sure it would be quite a treat.

Rakesh Jain said...

Good one Abhra ..

Abhra said...

Rakesh, Thanks for the read!

Vishal Kataria said...

Me hungry now... But me in an office that doesn't allow non-veg... Boo hoo hoo :'(

Abhra said...

He he, biriyani is such a thing that I feel I'd never be able to resist even I am not on empty stomach :)

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