5 Things You Didn’t Know About Biryanis

Decadent facts about the Middle East’s favourite dish.

Loved by many across the region, biryani is an intricate dish made up of fluffy rice, complex spices and often times tender pieces of meat. With thousands of variants around the globe, each with their own local twist, the biryani is a dish remembered for its preparation and taste.

As we celebrate the festive month of December, Asha’s pays tribute to the importance of the rice based dish and its ability to bring together friends and families around the world. Here are five things you might not know about biryanis:

Biryani was originally a staple dish

Having fed millions of workers during the Indian dynasty, biryani was a dish created to be served in bulk to nourish workers. Unlike now, biryanis were prepared to avoid the feeling of heaviness. Nowadays, the dish has become a customary tradition shared among families. Enhanced with ghee, garam masalas and rich meats – biryanis have become a delicacy rather than a staple dish.

Biryani is a global phenomenon

Although associated with India, biryani is not only an Indian dish. Brought to India by Mughal Emperors, it is also believed that a trader brought the dish concept from Afghanistan. Derived from the Persian language, the word ‘biryani’ is said to originate from the word ‘birinj’ – the Persian word for rice – or from the words ‘biryan’ or ‘beriyan’ – which means to fry or roast. Looking at the dish’s geographical origin and language association, biryani is home to many regions on the global map.

Mandi – a GCC favourite – is similar to biryani

Composed of rice, lamb or chicken meat and a blend of local spices – Mandi is a personal favourite among the locals in the gulf region. With its unique taste from the tandoor-style cooking, Mandi inhibits similar features to biryani when it comes to preparation and taste. Said to originate from Yemen, the dish is a loved favourite among gulf nations and remains a popular treat in other areas of the Arabian Peninsula.

The UAE had a recent quest for the best biryani

During the year, two Emirati men embarked on a mission to track down the best mutton biryani in Dubai and Sharjah. Attracting over 60,000 followers on social media during their reviews of 54 restaurants in a period of seven months, the two men encouraged the country to engage socially on what they thought was the best biryani in town – using the #bestbiryani hashtag. The social appeal of the quest further highlights the GCC’s love of the regional dish.

Asha’s Wafi has a biryani promotion this month

As an Indian restaurant, it goes without saying that we love biryani. This month, as we commemorate the festive season, Asha’s has the opportunity to showcase this brilliant dish to our loyal guests. With the concept of celebration in mind, we crafted three delicately flavoured festive biryanis to share the love!

Check out our biryanis here.

*Festive biryanis are exclusively available at Asha’s Wafi in Dubai.