Pulao (Pilau) and Biryani. Mughal Gifts

The Mughal emperor, Babur, invaded Hindustan in 1526. Babur was from Uzbekistan and he moved through Afghanistan to reach Hindustan, which is the former name of northern India.

The cuisine from Babur’s homeland was deeply influenced by the culinary styles of Persia and, to some extent, Turkey.

The pulao (or pilau) dish was introduced in the time of Babur and was basically meat fried in fat with water, rice and vegetables added. The Mughals ate meat, such as beef and mutton, whereas a lot of the population of Hindustan were vegetarians.

There are lots of versions of vegetarian pulao/pilau recipes that you can try. There is a wide range of pulao/pilau recipes in the Pilau Curry Recipes category.

During the reign of Babur’s son, Humuyan, the pulao/pilau dish became even more popular and evolved into containing not just spices, but also fruit and chicken.

The next emperor was Akbar and the pulao/pilau dish evolved even further into an entirely new dish, biryani. Biryani is similar to pulao/pilau but usually contains meat that has been marinated in yogurt and is more than likely to contain onions, garlic, almonds, saffron and rice as well as a wide variety of spices.

There are lots of biryani curry recipes in the Biryani Curry Recipes category.

The Mughals built the most well known building in the world. Akbar’s grandson, Shahjahan, was responsible for creating the Taj Mahal, in Agra.

There’s no denying that the Taj Mahal is a magnificent gift to the world

And nobody can argue the pulao/pilau and biryani dishes are also great gifts to the world from the Mughals.

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