This time, the Twitter debate started when a journalist in Uttar Pradesh said that the Kolkata biriyani with potatoes is the ‘biggest scam after 2G scam’.

Hyderabadi Thalassery or Awadhi KTR Amitabh Kant Vir Sanghvi join biriyani debate
news Social Media Thursday, February 06, 2020 - 14:37

The claim to ‘best biriyani’ in India has begun yet again. This time, public personalities such as NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, Telangana IT Minister KT Rama Rao and journalist and food critic Vir Sanghvi, too, joined the debate.

It started when Piyush Rai, a journalist in Uttar Pradesh, took to Twitter to say that “Kolkata Biryani with aloo (potato) is the biggest scam after 2G scam”. Of course, it did not go done well with the people from the state. “Kolkata biryani with aloo is Ranveer Singh of biryanis” and “Aloo in the biryani has more depth and character than the entire UP cabinet combined” were some of the comments.

The biriyani conversation then crossed states and reached Lucknow and Hyderabad when journalist Rohini Singh joined the bandwagon. She expressed her mild dislike for Hyderabadi biriyani. “Agree. Worse than 2G scam. And dare I say the over spiced Hyderabadi biryani, too”. She slathered praise on Lucknowi biriyani - “No one makes biryani the way it is made in homes in Lucknow - fragrant, delicate tasting and just pure deliciousness”.

It was then that Vir Sanghi brought the popular Kerala biriyani into the debate. “I can eat a Hyderabadi biryani once every two months. An Awadhi biryani once a month. A Calcutta biryani once a week. A Kerala biryani every day!” the food critic tweeted in response.

Kerala has a smorgasbord of biriyanis, and among the best appreciated and most-preferred (of course, mainly among Malayalis) is the Thalassery biriyani. Even the NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant agreed to it, and even knew where to get the best one from.

“The best biryani in the world is Thalassery fish biryani from Paris restaurant. It’s made using short-grained local rice with white aikora or kingfish also known as king mackerel in Thalassery (Kerala). It’s awesome and beats all other biryanis by miles,” he tweeted, delectably explaining the dish.

Of course, one can trust Amitabh Kant to form a good judgment about the Kerala biriyani. The NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant has served as the Managing Director of Matsyafed, a Kerala State Co-operative Federation for Fisheries Development Ltd. He has also lived in Kerala for an extensive period of time, serving in various official capacities — as Tourism Secretary, Managing Director of Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation, as well as the District Collector of Kozhikode.

Continuing the debate on biriyani, Telangana IT Minister KTR soon defended the Hyderabadi biriyani, shooting other biriyanis as “mere imitation”. He cited a UNESCO recognition to counter Amitabh Kant’s claim of fame for Kerala biriyani.

“All bragging rights on best biryani in the world belong rightfully to Hyderabad, Amitabh Ji. Dare I say that the rest are only poor imitations. Even UNESCO recognised our gourmet culture recently and conferred the title of ‘creative city of gastronomy’,” tweeted KTR, giving a link to UNESCO’s list of creative cities in the world.

And of course, as always, the banters and debates over —  which is the best biriyani in India, the legitimate spelling (biriyani or biryani), does vegetable biriyani qualify as a biriyani — never ended, and we rightly believe that it will continue for ages to come.

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