Namaste, my name is Gautam…
and I have been dreaming of Biryani Pots for many years...
I was born in Hyderabad in India and I grew up there. From an early age, I loved food with a passion.
Some years later, after I had graduated from the Hotel Management college in my home city, I joined Princess Cruise Lines as a Pastry Chef – and a three-year culinary journey began.
Then I settled in England and became Head Pastry Chef at Calcot Collection, with a brigade of four. I am now working in a similar role at the Fine Cheese Co. in Bath.
I have lived in England for 15 years and I still miss true Indian food and its flavours, especially the amazing street food and the festive treats.
When I first felt home-sick I began to cook Indian dishes for my family, my friends, my colleagues and of course myself. Then more. Then more.
Most often, I cook Biryani because it takes me back to my Hyderabadi roots.
The Story of Biryani
The word ‘Biryani’ is derived from the Persian word ‘Berenj’ meaning ‘rice’.
Some believe that the dish was introduced by the Persians themselves when they invaded India.
Because Biryani became part of the Mughal cuisine for which India is famous, others attribute the dish to Mumtaz Mahal, the wife of Shah Jahan, the Mughal Emperor, in whose memory the Taj Mahal was built. It is said that she once visited the army barracks and found the soldiers under-fed; and so she asked her chefs to prepare a special dish that would provide those soldiers with the balanced nutrition she felt would revive them.