Social media was nothing short of a war zone after Tanishq released its much-discussed advertisement. While the jewellery company withdrew the ad, it had already done the damage and unveiled the ugly face of social media. So, when a Twitter user challenged other users to boycott biryani too, it started a debate on the origins of the beloved dish.
While the origin of biryani has always been under debate amid lovers of the dish, the new Boycott Biryani challenge threw open Pandora's box. Multimedia journalist Seemi Pasha took to Twitter and said, "Open challenge: Boycott biryaani if you can!" The tweet that has since gone viral invited a flood of responses.
Many said that unlike what's usually believed, biryani did not come from the Mughals. One said that paddy grows in India and not in Mongol. "Please Check where the dhaan/paddy Grows and it's origin! India is the land who gave wheat and rice to d world! Now, please don't tell me that the Ur Mogul brought the recipe of biryani in their pocket like they brought the paneer too! Changing name doesn't change the facts! (sic)," said a user.
Please Check where the dhaan/paddy Grows and it’s origin! India is the land who gave wheat and rice to d world! Now, please don’t tell me that the Ur Mogul brought the recipe of briyani in their pocket like they brought the paneer too! Changing name doesn’t change the facts! pic.twitter.com/9H02d8pIbf— Tathagat (@savitapant1) October 14, 2020
Another pointed out that biryani was consumed in the Deccan region in the 15th century, much before the Mughals came to India, while another user said, "Biryani is a Persian word meaning 'Burnt Rice' which originates from the local Deccani 'Dagdhanna'. Great Cook Nala Maharaj of the Epic Ramayana fame, wrote about it in His Treatise 'Paka Darpanam' on Indian Cuisine."
"I don't know which Biryani you're referring to, but Hyderabadi Biryani is Parsi pulav that's been influenced by local ingredients and spices to suit the local palette. You can boycott that if the Hindu influence in it bothers you," said a user.
Biryani, Pulao, Salwar kameez kurta, Farsi language etc, were part and parcel of Persian civilization and empire long before Islam was born in deserts of Arabia. Just because Persians became Muslims later on and these inventions were digested as Islamic.— ࿗ RAO। राव ࿗ (@kesariyoda) October 13, 2020
However, some argued otherwise. "Biryani, Pulao, Salwar kameez kurta, Farsi language etc, were part and parcel of Persian civilization and empire long before Islam was born in deserts of Arabia. Just because Persians became Muslims later on and these inventions were digested as Islamic," said a user, while another said, "The word Biryani is derived from the Persian word Birian, which means 'fried before cooking' and Birinj, the Persian word for rice. There are various theories related to the origin of this scrumptious dish. Historians believe that biryani originated from Persia."
Many parts of India, such as Hyderabad, Kolkata, Kashmir, Andhra, Tamil Nadu, Delhi have their own variations of the popular dish. What makes a particular biryani different from the next one is the spices and the ingredients used.