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Earliest know Biryani recipes - needs to be included in history[edit]

"Zer Berian-i-Noor Mahali Nu’ Digar" a 17th century biryani recipe

Meat: 1Kg

Ghee (Rughan-i-Zard): 125 Grams

Rice: 1 Kg

Cinnamon: 2 Grams

Cloves: 2 Grams

Cardamoms: 2 Grams

Saffron: 1 Gram

Ginger: 20 Grams

Garlic: 250 Grams

Salt: 60 Grams

Coriander: 20 Grams

Black Cumin: 2.5 Grams

PROCEDURE: Cut the meat into pieces. Mix salt with ginger juice. Wait for a few minutes. Mix the garlic. Wait for a while. (In a pan) Fry onions in 100 grams of ghee. Put the (chopped) garlic on the onion. Keep adding water soaked in cumin until all the water dries up. Put the chunks of meat and add cinnamon, cloves, cardamoms and cumin.

(In a separate pan) Half-boil the rice. Mix a little rice with ghee and saffron. Wait for a while. Put (all) the rice under the meat. Pour (the remaining) ghee from above.

Seal the lid of the pan with wheat dough. For five minutes keep on full-blown flame. Move the (sealed) pan (upper) on the flame. Let it be on Dum for 45 minutes.

If the rice has to take the colour of saffron it must be fried.

— Biryani recipe from "Nuskha-i-Shahjahani" manuscript, a 17th century Mughal cookbook written during the reign of Shah Jahan.[1][2]

Hello. These two texts are earliest known recipe books to mentioned Biryani. Please include them.[3][4]

  • Ain-i-Akbari (16th century text) - This book mentions "Zerd Birinj" (yellow rice). Zerd Birinj can be made into four dishes "sometimes added flesh with other seasonings" but does not give recipes for these other four. There is also reference to "dumpukht".

The great Mughal royal kitchen truly flourished under the Great Jalaluddin Akbar (1542 – 1605). Directly supervised by none other than the Badshah’s confidante and Prime Minister, Abul Fazal; and his chefs (who were hired from different parts of the world) working round the clock, it must have been in the 16th century one of the greatest laboratories of culinary experiments. Abul Fazal, in his Farsi tome Ain-i-Akbari, has left us with succinct descriptions of the royal kitchen along with recipes of the Badshah’s favourite dishes. In that list the first dish is titled zerd birinj, which literally means ‘yellow rice’. Ingredients include: rice, sugar candy, ghee, raisins, almonds, pistachio, salt, ginger, saffron and cinnamon. ‘These,’ informs Abul Fazal, ‘will make four ordinary dishes,’ and then goes on to add, ‘there is also sometimes added flesh with other seasonings.’ Can this be counted as a precursor to our modern biryani? Even with the added ‘flesh’, a very distant relative of biryani it could be, if at all. - However, Ain-i-Akbari does mention one dish, which in centuries to come would evolve into a very special tradition of cooking: dumpukht. Ain-i-Akbari doesn’t give us the cooking procedure, but just the ingredients: meat, oil, onion, pepper, cloves, cardamoms and salt. From other sources we get to know that the Dumpukht method of cooking involves sealing of the handi with wheat flour paste and setting it over slow fire for hours. In dumpukht cooking, there is no opportunity to open the handi to check how far the food had been cooked. It all depends on the experience of the chef.

  • Nuskha-i-Shahjahani (17th century) - This text mentions five types of Biryani. 1. Zer Beriyan-i-Paneer (Biryani made with paneer), 2. Zer Beriyan-i-Noor Mahali (Biryani cooked with meat), 3. Zer Beriyan-i-Roomi (Roomi means Roman/Turkish Anatolia), 4. Zer Beriyan-i-Mahi (Fish biryani) and 5. Zer Berian-i-Noor Mahali Nu’ Digar ("Nu'Diger" means 'new variety', this is close to modern version, along with Noor Mahali).

There is documented evidence that a dish, with five distinct varieties, was being cooked in Shah Jahan’s imperial kitchen, which without an iota of doubt was the immediate precursor to today’s biryani. For this we have to turn the pages of an anonymous 17th century manuscript: "Nuskha-i-Shahjahani. This is the text from which Salma Husain has collated the recipes printed in ‘Nuskha-E-Shahjahan: Pulaos from the Royal Kitchen of Shah Jahan’ and many of those in her book ‘The Emperor’s Table’.

This significant text is a treasure trove of delicacies far beyond what Husain offers us. The ‘contents’ section of the text contains a whole chapter titled: Beriyan. The chapter has recipes of five varieties of a dish named Zer beriyan: Zer Beriyan-i-Paneer (gourmands with a natural urge to dismiss ‘vegetable biryani’ as an oxymoron, take careful note), Zer Beriyan-i-Noor Mahali (was this the delectable dish, that has been referred to in our legend? We can never be certain), Zer Beriyan-i-Roomi, Zer Beriyan-i-Mahi (once again, a revelation for many who have dismissed fish Biryani for long as an unwelcome recent interpolation of Bangladeshi chefs) and Zer Berian-i-Noor Mahali Nu’ Digar (this repetition of the Noor Mahali variety—Nu’ Digar meaning ‘new variety’—certainly entices me to conclude that there indeed may be a grain of truth in our legend).

Two of these recipes demand a special attention in the context of our discourse: the Noor Mahali and the Roomi. Make no mistake, although Roomi literally means Roman, in this context it certainly refers to a Turkish dish of a similar vein. Ever since the Byzantine Empire spread across vast areas of Anatolia, later part of the Turkish Empire; persons and things associated with the region has often been called ‘Roomi’. This Zer berian, therefore is ‘Roomi’ exactly in the same sense in which the great Sufi poet Mevlana Jalaluddin Muhammad is also known the world over as Rumi. Beriyan, as we have already seen, refers to a Persian tradition of cooking which involves frying. Therefore, we can safely conclude that the most immediate precursor to the legendary biryani was drawing heavily both from Turkic and Persian traditions, while being evolved to its final shape in royal Indian kitchens.

Besides the Roomi variety, Noor Mahali is the other Zer beriyan that, besides a host of other ingredients, uses our grand trio combination: meat, rice and ghee. It must also be noted that Nuskha-i-Shahjahani doesn’t specify the type of meat, but just mentions gosht, meat. That’s wonderful in one sense: it leaves space for chefs to experiment in keeping with her/ his social, religious and cultural tradition. A look at the Zer Berian-i-Noor Mahali proves how close we had moved towards the modern biryani version."

— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)


  1. ^ {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ Nuskha-e-Shahjahani: Pulaos from the Royal Kitchen of Shah Jahan. Rupa & Company. 2004. ISBN 978-81-7167-989-8.
  3. ^ {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ Nuskha-e-Shahjahani: Pulaos from the Royal Kitchen of Shah Jahan. Rupa & Company. 2004. ISBN 978-81-7167-989-8.

Origin of Biriyani and Muslims[edit]

Adding this section so that people can reach a conscise on this matter. Urging not to add anything related to this before a conscise is reached on this matter. Afv12e (talk) 16:54, 23 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]

@TheCherryPanda: pinging you here, make sure to reach a consensus before adding your 'Muslim origin' or 'South Asian muslim' origin here, also before deleting anything sourced. Afv12e (talk) 20:03, 23 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Protected edit request on 23 January 2024[edit]

I would like the last version of the article with my edits to be restored by the administrators before it was undone by Afv12e. I have been helping to work on this article for several years now and have on numerous occasions been the one to request increased protection due to vandalism. As user MrOllie noticed, despite the claims of vandalism made against me, my edits were obviously not vandalism. All the edits I made were cited and organizational and helped improve the conflicting claims and poor grammar that currently exist in the article. Instead of being willing to provide reason as to why my edits were being undone, user Afv12e repeatedly referred to my edits as vandalism and repeatedly implied that my edits should be considered invalid since I was “under admin review” — accusing me of being a sock puppet without being willing to have a constructive discussion with me on the talk page first. That same admin review, however, repeatedly told him to do so or that my actions were not vandalism: TheCherryPanda (talk) 17:02, 23 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Your edits were disruptive.
You edits were removal or sourced content and adding 'Muslim origin of biriyani' and removing all those not aligning with your pov.
No need to restore the destructive edited version , current version is stable with references.
If you believe that 'Muslim origin of biriyani' is valid, I have added a section in the talk, so that you including other editors can discuss and reach a conscise.
Do not edit these or remove sourced content before talking in talk page and reaching a conscise, according to Wikipedia rules you'll get a ban from Wikipedia for these pov edits. Afv12e (talk) 17:37, 23 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
TheCherryPanda is not going to get a ban. Stop making empty threats, it will not help you get your way on this article. MrOllie (talk) 17:40, 23 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
You are saying something that is not representative of the edits I’m trying to make. If you look at the version I am trying to restore, nowhere does it talk about the “Muslim origins of biryani.” Any clause relating to that was removed by me from the first sentence due to the repeated controversy. Instead, I am trying to highlight the importance of biryani to South Asians and recognize the fact that the dish is most commonly associated with South Asia. At present, talking about the Iranian origins in the first sentence even though there already exists an “Origins” section obfuscates that fact, as articles like the one from the BBC that, to my knowledge, I first added into the article talk about how biryani in modern Iran is incredibly different to the kind most people know or the kind that the article talks about or even the kind that is shown in the photo. If you have any other issues, please let me know. Otherwise I see no reason to restore the version I last updated. — — — — —
On another note, I have been a member of Wikipedia for several years and never have I been so shocked or been made to feel so upset by another user. It would be good for you to remember that Wikipedia is a constructive community and we all ultimately share the same goal which is to improve equitable access to accurate and easily understandable information. Your repeated threats and accusations against me have been lambasted by several other Wikipedia users, including administration, and you have been told that your behavior puts you at risk for a permanent ban. I urge you to not take those claims lightly. Thank you. TheCherryPanda (talk) 19:26, 23 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
One of the edit here you removed the source and the content [1]
Here [2] you added : 'Biryani is one of the most popular dishes in South Asia and among the South Asian diaspora, although the dish is most often associated with the region’s Muslim population in particular removing the original :
Biryani is one of the most popular dishes in South Asia, as well as among the diaspora from the region. Similar dishes are also prepared in other parts of the world such as in Iraq, Myanmar, Thailand, and Malaysia
From these itself it is clear that you want to highlight and make the origin biriyani from Muslims rather than you claim here of 'South Asia'.
From here too you have removed non muslim origin of biriyani [3], by removing :
The origins of biryani in South India can be traced back to a period well before the Mughal era in North India. Around 1500 years before Mughals, according to Sangam literature, which dates from between 200 BCE and 200 CE, the earliest mention of a dish similar to biryani is "Oonchoru.
Your edits are destructive and POV pushs. Afv12e (talk) 20:00, 23 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
@TheCherryPanda: Multiple senior users has already warned you already before on your destructive edits of removing sourced content like here from your talk page [4]. Afv12e (talk) 20:07, 23 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
If you could please direct me to the senior users who have warned me about my “destructive edits”? I was not aware of anyone who has. TheCherryPanda (talk) 21:23, 23 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
And it would be well of you to notice that the incident you highlighted was a one-off mistake that occurred nearly 5 years ago. I am increasingly worried that you are not willing to have a constructive conversation with me regarding this article but instead trying to paint me as an editor with a vengeance. TheCherryPanda (talk) 21:33, 23 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Nowhere in that sentence does it say that the origins of biryani come from Muslims. Instead it says that the dish is most often associated with the region’s Muslim population, which is exactly what the cited article says. Correlation does not equal causation. — — — — — — — — —
This applies to the South India section as well. The sources cited there point to the fact that there existed a similar dish purported in Sangam literature that was similar to modern biryani. Pointing out this similarity does not create a direct causal or genealogical link between this ancient South Indian dish and modern biryani. Once again, correlation does not equal causation. The sources themselves talk about biryani’s derivation from this dish as one possibility among many. As it is written at present, do you see how it’s quite confusing to introduce the article by saying as a matter of fact that biryani originates from Iran and then one section later saying that it originates in South India? TheCherryPanda (talk) 21:28, 23 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
In the lead it was either originated from Iran or South India, but you made it as originated from Iran.
Then you are coming here and talking that it is contradicting.
Look for previous talks [5] :
It is important to note that the Muslims of South Asia, especially the Mughals, were traditionally very "perso-centric" in style and outlook (also to set them apart from their non-Muslim Hindu, Sikh, Jain etc. subjects), they would give Persian names to everything, even to typical, regional customs, food items, military traditions etc. that were unknown in Iran. The biryani dish is evidently foreign to the Iranian palate and it seems more like a localized, Indian/"Hindustani" refined version of the simpler Central-Asian one-pot meat & rice dish of pilaf, originally cooked in huge cauldrons (the perfect food to be served to long rows of hungry soldiers). JeanSept (talk) 10:44, 5 June 2021 (UTC)
True Pundology ChandlerMinh (talk) 16:33, 8 January 2022 (UTC)
South India as the same dish , but with their own name 1500 years backas Oonchoru from historical records.
Should have to accept that this dish , even still in South India , they have their own styles of biriyani where mughals/Iranians were absent,
Even in Iran, biriyani is not found nowadays. It is truly a Indian dish now. Where did those biriyani disappeared in Iran !
So sources says it is from Iran, and need to stick with that as original research is not allowed in Wikipedia, but other sources also says of the similar/same dish in different name 1500 years back in south India.
So for neutrality and considering all these , it should be 'either from Iran or South India'. Afv12e (talk) 21:45, 23 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I unfortunately cannot understand the argument you are trying to make due to your poor grammar but it seems very unsubstantiated. What is the source for the claims made by the Wikipedia user you cited and what do you mean by “should have to accept”? Furthermore, what is your evidence that South Indian biryani is a direct descendant of “Oonchoru”? And in any case, I agree with you that, in many ways, biryani is a true South Asian dish now which is why the introduction’s discussion of Iranian origin obfuscates that as I previously said! I was not the one who put that there in the first sentence. Furthermore, nothing you said here goes against the (cited) clause I wished to include regarding the dish’s association with the region’s Muslim population which, once again, is not equivalent to saying that South Asian Muslims created biryani as correlation does not equal causation. TheCherryPanda (talk) 21:57, 23 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Deactivating edit request as protection has expired. * Pppery * it has begun... 17:36, 25 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Promo removal please[edit]

Hi, when possible, could the promotional material be removed from this sentence (under Varieties, Delhi biryani):

"Each part of Delhi has its own style of biryani, often based on its original purpose..."

The bolded word is currently an external link leading to 'best biryani' recipes. Thank you for your time! StartGrammarTime (talk) 06:46, 25 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]

 Done Promotional link removed Happymelon 16:11, 25 January 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Meat used in Biryani[edit]

List just states lamb, which a young sheep. While that is normally true in Western countries, in the Indian subcontinent countries mutton is also often used, which is an older sheep. This needs including in the list of meats, but the page is currently locked. So could someone able to edit the page add in this info, thanks 2A00:23C6:279B:1D01:40C:8035:7A58:3ED7 (talk) 23:24, 18 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]