World's biggest veg biryani is ready!

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New Delhi, Mar 2: Three thousand kg of basmati rice, 1200 litres of vegetable oil, 750 kg of curds as many kgs of sliced onion and over a hundred kg of spices put together in a specially made cauldron prepared the world's biggest vegetable biryani -- all 12,000 kg of it.

The feat was achieved here last night on the forecourts of Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium. The preparations had started in the early hours -- with collection of the ingredients and lighting of the cooking vessel. The huge 3,500 kg vessel with a mechanise rotor at the bottom was prepared by an expert fabricator in eight days. ''Since it is difficult to stir the huge 'handi', we decided to fix a mechanised rotor to serve the purpose,'' said one of the chefs. The effort of over 60 chefs paid dividends late in the night when the steaming hot biryani -- the signature Indian dish-- was presented before experts from the Guiness Book of World Records.

A large portion of the world's biggest biryani was distributed among children in several orphanages of the city. ''Biryani is a dish with its roots in medivial history of India. Since, Delhi was the capital of most monarchs during this period, it is the ideal location for attempting the unique world record,'' said senior vice-president of Kohinoor Foods Ltd Bhushan Arora. ''Since, the company's top brass is a 'vegetarian', a vegetarian biryani was cooked. In fact it can be termed as 'pulao','' added Mr Arora.

His company, in association with the Hindustan Times, had organised the event, inaugurated by Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit who tossed a rice grains to launch the event.

Till now, Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) holds the world record of preparing the world's biggest chicken biryani weighing 15,000 kg in March, 2001.

A quick web search reveals that the name biryani or biriani is derived from the Persian word berya, meaning fried or roasted. It was spread through out West Asia and South Asia by Muslim travellers and merchants. Biryani is a family of primarily South Asian dishes made from a mixture of spices, rice (usually basmati), meat/vegetables and yogurt.

The spices and condiments used in biryani are what primarily contribute to the taste. These are generally cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, wasabi, bay leaves, coriander and mint leaves, apart from ghee, ginger, onions, garlic and yoghurt. The premium varieties include saffron.

For a non-vegetarian biryani, the main ingredient that accompanies the spices is the meat or beef, chicken or shrimp, though vegetable biryani varieties are also popular. The dish is served with dahi chutney, korma, curry or a sour dish of eggplant (brinjal).

UNI

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