Friday, January 27, 2023

Nothing Mughal in Biryani and Pulao: @BharadwajSpeaks

In yet another volley of factoids culled from the pages of history, the famous history Twitter handle @BharadwajSpeaks today disproved the claims that Biryani and Pulao had exotic origins and were brought to India by invading Mughals.

Well, it seems, the invading Mughals had no rice back home to talk of. So, there were no mentions of either Biryani or Pulao in their history before their arrival in India.

@BhardwajSpeaks also established that Biryani owes its etymological origins to the word “Birinj” which in turn comes from Samskrit word “vrihi”

Like always, it all started with an uninformed but supremely confident announcement by The Economist that “Biryani was supposedly invented during 17th century, when India was part of the Mughal empire.”

The Economist tweet and the linked article also mocked the so-called Hindu nationalists claiming that Biryani has become a target for them. It suggested that Hindus were making false claims over Biryani.

This was enough for sparking a volley of factoids from BharadwajSpeaks.

He brings out several interesting and fact-based arguments to discount Mughal origins of Biryani as well as Pulao.

The mainstay of his arguments was that “In those days, Rice DID NOT EVEN GROW in the original Mughal homeland.”

He links the name Biryani with the words “birinj” and “vrihi’ of Samskrit.

He links Biryani recipe with “Mansaudan” and says that it is mentioned even in Vedic literature.

He cites the recipe of Mansaudan as given in ancient Indian cookery literature Pakdarpana.

He cites some more references from Pakdarpana.

Some more references for preparing the meat delicacy.

He adds references to the tradition of adding fragrance and marination to the delicacy.

And then he wonders how could Mughals bring anything to India.

There is some more recipe for those who are interested in cooking meat for Biryani.

Something related to chicken too.

Then comes a reference to masala powder too.

And then explains why there is no mention of potato, tomatoes and chillies of today’s Biryani.

Then he talks about the so-called Mughal Biryani and the word’s first origins in 17th century.

He tells us how Zard Birinj (yellow rice) was mentioned in Ain I Akbari in 16th century.

He tells us how it is a literal translation of Haridranna (yellow rice).

If spices are required, it could only be in India.

Some facts from Baburnama too.

Some more facts from same book.

And he concludes.

He also adds about Hindavi Laziz.

And then some reference to Pulao too. It seems Pulao has its origin in Pulaka, meaning boiled rice.

The thread by @BharadwajSpeaks demolishes the narrative put forth by The Economist in an authoritative and logical manner.

It would be interesting to see if The Economist finds it fit to come out with a rebuttal.

But, the question is – will it respond after so many facts fired by @BharadwajSpeaks?

(All facts mentioned in this article as well as the featured image come from @BharadwajSpeaks twitter handle and are being reproduced here with thanks.)

(Articles and opinions reflect personal views, perspectives and arguments of the author. Opinions expressed in columns and articles in no way represent views and opinions of Town Post, its editor or its editorial policies.)

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