Chicken Biryani street food in faridabad Delhi N C R

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Chicken Biryani In North India, it is traditionally associated with the Mughlai cuisine of Delhi and the Awadhi cuisine of Lucknow; in South India, it is traditionally associated with the Hyderabadi cuisine.[1]

One theory is that it originates from "birinj", the Persian word for rice.[1] Another theory is that it derives from "biryan" or "beriyan" (to fry or roast).[2][3]

There is a theory about the Mughals having brought biryani to India, but another theory claims that the dish was known in India before Babur came to India.[4] The 16th century Mughal text Ain-i-Akbari makes no distinction between biryanis and pulao. It states that the word "biryani" is of older usage in India.[5] A similar theory - that biryani came to India with Timur's invasion - also appears to be incorrect, because there is no record of biryani having existed in his native land during that period.[4] There are references to a dish of "fried" rice, flavoured with various aromatic spices and condiments in ancient texts of India, which were enjoyed by the ruling classes. There was a traditional culinary preparation native to Bengal where semi-cooked fish was steamed with rice, letting the rice absorb its aroma, in a covered earthen pot, in a manner in which biryani is prepared. Hence this 'dum' style of cooking is not new to the Indian sub-continent.[citation needed]

According to Pratibha Karan, the biryani is of South Indian origin, derived from pilaf varieties brought to India by the Arab traders. She speculates that the pulao was an army dish in medieval India: the armies, unable to cook elaborate meals, would prepare a one-pot dish where they cooked rice with whichever meat was available. Over time, the dish became biryani due to different methods of cooking, with the distinction between "pulao" and "biryani" being arbitrary.[1][4] Lizzie Collingham states that the modern biryani was created in the Mughal kitchen, as a confluence of the West Asian pilaf and the spicy rice dishes of India.[6] According to Vishwanath Shenoy, the owner of a biryani restaurant chain in India, one branch of biryani comes from the Mughals, while another was brought by the Arab traders to Calicut in South Indi