The very favored rice
Biryanis . They happened to be the cooked rice with layers of masala and when done tastefully,it's soul enriching food. There are varieties of it. Some cook meat along with the rice, some separately and then adding it towards the end, and some layer it with other cholesterol inducing sinful ingredients such as ghee,cashew milk, deep fried onions,raisins and stuffs like that. The briyanis in most of the hawkers are pathetic at most...I have no idea why they call yellow rice biryanis, but they do and get away with it.
Before my marriage, biryanis were a yearly affair. My mother used to slog out in the morning to cook one mega big deep pot of biryani. She would prepare pineapple achhar, onion and cucumber raita, carrot and cucumber achhar, chicken kuma, dalcha and prawn sambal as side dishes to her mutton biryani. I hate to see mum slog out and seriously the work taken to make all of it put me off in preparing food in general.
If I am hosting a dinner at home, I rather cater it. I dont see the need to boast my cooking skills to the network of people I have. The amount of cleanup after that becomes another chore I really don't need to do and no one lifts a finger to help.
But my hubby, he just needs biryani every Friday. Thankfully, being a nice man he is, he never gets me to prepare it for they sell biryanis at mosques where the important Friday prayers are conducted. He eats them there. But, he does try to eat biryani every Friday in any cities he goes to.
But being married to a chennai indian Muslim, I get to see and hear about biryani all the time. My hindu friends from India tell me that no one makes biryanis like the Muslims. They are like the experts in it. And so when my in laws come over, they need to prove that theory to me and whoever we invited that their biryani is the best. And they only make two side dishes out of it...a brinjal stir-fry that has peanuts and fenugreek paste with tamarind sauce and a cucumber and onion raita. Apparently their theory is that biryanis should be eaten as it is with no gravy. (because the rice is cooked till almost soggy) And they believe it to be the ultimate truth.
I love the ones my mother in law, hubby and mum makes. They are nice,little to not much oil and healthy. I recently had fish biryani at a friend's, my first one...she made it specially for me since I don't eat chicken,mutton and beef. It was awesome. The rice and the masala was great and I ate so much fish that day. She makes it to my list of top biryanis.
But I hate making it. The last time my hubby wanted to prove that he can prepare a good biryani, we prepared the food late, got the guests waiting for hours,and I ended up having painful and early period which I suspect was a miscarriage because I had all the symptoms of being pregnant that month. Never did that symptom appear again. After that...both hubby and I felt bad vibes whenever we discuss about hosting dinner at home. It just puts me off.
Why do people need to prove they are the best biryani makers...I have no idea. Do I make a biryani? No I don't and I don't think Allah is going to judge me for my lack of interest in it.
Today hubby and my SIL are preparing it to prove a point to a couple of friends the very same point...that they are the best biryani makers. And where am I? Somewhere very far away...