Journeys in the land of Biryani

Biryani is not just a dish, it’s an experience. To eat it is to take in the subcontinent whole; spices, rice, regal splendour, religion, controversy and history in one fell swoop.

Restaurant-style biryani

When my fellow blogger, travelling foodie and all-round awesome friend Anna Johnston asked me to contribute my favourite food experience for her website shenANNAgans, I knew exactly what to write about.

Chowpatty beach, Mumbai

Biryani is one of my favourite dishes of all time, both to eat and to make. I’m also madly in love the story behind it, the variations of it, its history in the streets of Lucknow, Delhi, Hyderabad and Karachi, and its current status (and controversy) as the de facto national dish of Pakistan. It has followed me, and I’ve followed its aromatic masalas, as I’ve travelled from the small fishing village of Sur in Oman, to Mumbai and through to Lahore.

Jama Masjid Delhi

Come with Anna and I on a journey in the land of biryani, with my guest post on shenANNAgans – just click here.


Have you ever felt that a dish simply encapsulated a country or region? Tell us more!

Comments (8)

  • Anna @ shenANNAgans Reply

    You are a superstar, I am loving hanging out in places i have never been before, there is something special about adventuring ‘virtually speaking’ with someone who so very obviously loves that place or food. Thank you, thank you for taking me and my readers on such a fun journey. Can we make this when I eventually get around to a visit? 🙂 Maybe we do an oka ‘Aussie’ version, add some roo. LOL!

    I am drawing a blank on a food that encapsulates a country… Maybe Penang, although it draws from so many different cultures. I dunno, I’ll have a think about it.

    October 14, 2015 at 10:23 am
    • Tim Blight Reply

      Oooooooh be careful with that – I’ve tried making kangaroo biryani, and it ended up tasting very kangaroo-ey. I’m not really a fan of the flavour of kangaroo meat – it’s a bit too gamey for me. I was hoping the spices would temper that a little, but instead the whole pot just smelled like meat!! Maybe I should leave that in your capable hands, my chef friend 😉

      Penang would have some great dishes I’m sure, which would represent the mixture of cultures and influences there. I’m yet to visit though, so I’m not sure!

      October 15, 2015 at 4:12 pm
  • veena Reply

    Now you’ve got me craving biryani! We always used to have it for Thanksgiving dinner, so now whenever I am back in the States for Thanksgiving, I am in charge of making it. Mine is not as good as what you get in these parts, but I think I’m getting the hang of it 🙂

    October 14, 2015 at 9:46 pm
    • Tim Blight Reply

      Hehehehehe – I’m craving it too! I’m sure you make it well – Thanksgiving biryani, a new tradition perhaps? 🙂

      October 15, 2015 at 4:10 pm
  • Agness Reply

    Anna is awesome, such a foodie hihihi :)!

    October 15, 2015 at 4:08 am
    • Tim Blight Reply

      A friend of food is a friend of mine 🙂

      October 15, 2015 at 4:09 pm
  • Andrew Reply

    plov seems to capture much of SE Asia…

    October 15, 2015 at 8:20 am
    • Tim Blight Reply

      I’m guessing you meant Central Asia? Yeah – it’s everywhere!!

      October 15, 2015 at 4:09 pm

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