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Biryani

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Description:
Biryani also known as biriyani or biriani, is a South Asian mixed rice dish with its origins among the Muslims of the Indian subcontinent. It is popular throughout the subcontinent and among the diaspora from the region. It is generally made with spices, rice, and meat. This is basically a Moglai dish. Mogal kings usually eat this type of dishes. Now a days it has become a very popular dish in most of nonveg people in Asia.

Origin:
The exact origin of the dish is uncertain. In North India, different varieties of biryani developed in the Muslim centers of Delhi (Mughlai cuisine), Lucknow (Awadhi cuisine) and other small principalities. In South India, where rice is more widely used as a staple food, several distinct varieties of biryani emerged from Telangana (Specifically Hyderabad), Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka, where minority Muslim communities were present. Andhra is the only region of South India that does not have many native varieties of biryani.

According to the Delhi based historian Sohail Nakhwi, more than four thousand years ago, people in Central Asia started adding the meat of cows, buffaloes (beef) and goats (mutton) to rice, thus resulting in the dish that later began to be called Pulao, and a precursor to the modern day Biryani. The more well to do people used the meat of goat (it being more expensive) and the poorer people used beef (it being cheaper) As per author Lizzie Collingham, the modern biryani further developed in the Mughal royal kitchen, as a confluence of the native spicy rice dishes of India and the Persian pilaf. However, all the spices used in biryani were also grown in Persia and were also available to Arabs through trade. According to Kris Dhillon, the modern Biryani originated in Persia, and was brought to India by the Mughals. However, another theory claims that the dish was known in India before the first Mughal emperor Babur came to India. 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. 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.

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. 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 [Malabar]] in South India.
While the Middle eastern and Middle Asian versions of Biryani and Pulao are made on the tandoor, Biryani in the Indian subcontinent is made in a large metal dish with a narrow mouth called a “degh”
Main Ingredients:
Ingredients vary accord to type of meat used and the region the Biriyani is from. Gosht (of either chicken or mutton) as the prime ingredient with rice. As is common in dishes of the Indian subcontinent, some vegetables are also used when preparing Biriyani. Other vegetables such as corn also may be used depending on the season and availability. Navratan biryani tends to use sweeter richer ingredients such as cashew, kismis and fruits such as apples and pineapples.

The spices and condiments used in biryani may include ghee (clarified butter), nutmeg, mace, pepper, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaves, coriander, mint leaves, ginger, onions, tomatoes, and garlic. The premium varieties include saffron. In all Biriyani, the main ingredient that accompanies the spices is the chicken and mutton, special varieties also use beef, and seafood. The dish may be served with dahi chutney or raita, korma, curry, a sour dish of aubergine (brinjal), boiled egg (optional), and salad.

Varities:
Biryanis are cooked in various different types and different places it is cooked diffenently.
In the kacchi biryani, raw marinated meat is layered with raw rice before being cooked together.It is also known as kacchi yeqni. It is cooked typically with chicken and mutton but rarely with fish and prawn. The dish is cooked layered with the meat and the yogurt based marinade at the bottom of the cooking pot and the layer of rice (usually basmati rice) placed over it. Potatoes are often added before adding the rice layer. The pot is usually sealed (typically with wheat dough) to allow cooking in its own steam and not opened until it is ready to serve.

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Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biryani

Erodium cicutarium

Botanical Name : Erodium cicutarium
Family: Geraniaceae
Genus: Erodium
Species: E. cicutarium
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Geraniales

Common Names :Redstem filaree,alfilaree, alfilaria, alfilerillo (Spanish-Chile), California filaree, cutleaf filaree, filaree, heronsbill, loiquilahuen (Spanish-Chile), pin-grass, pin-weed, redstem, redstem filaree, redstem stork’s bill, relojito (Spanish-Chile), stork’s bill, tachuela (Spanish-Chile)

Habitat : Erodium cicutarium is native to the Mediterranean Basin and was introduced to North America in the eighteenth century, where it has since become invasive, particularly of the deserts and arid grasslands of the southwestern United States. The seeds of this annual are a species collected by various species of harvester ants.It grows on  sandy dunes, grassland, arable land, waste areas, roadsides, railway embankments etc, usually near the sea.

Description:
Erodium cicutarium is described as an annual, winter annual or biennial. It has a prostrate basal rosette and upright, often leafy flowering stalks. The stalks range from < 10cm to about 50cm high, and originate in the axils of the leaves. The leaves are divided into fine leaflets (or lobes) and are finely dissected, similar to those of a carrot. The flowers are about 1cm across, pink or lavender, and borne on stalks in clusters of 2-12. The sepals of the flowers are somewhat pointed and hairy. The fruiting structure (consisting of the seeds, persistent bristly styles, and central placental axis) is 2-5cm long and resembles a stork’s bill. At maturity, the developing fruit splits into 5 segments, each with a long, spirally twisting style with a seed attached at the base. The style twists hygroscopically, drilling the seed into the soil (The Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives, 2001; Hickman, 1993)…..CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Cultivation:
Prefers a sunny well-drained position and a limy soil or at least one that is not acid. Plants are likely to be resistant to maritime exposure.

Propagation:
Seed – sow in situ as soon as the seed is ripe in the late summer. The seed can also be sown in situ in late spring. Germination usually takes place within 3 weeks
Edible Uses:The entire plant is edible with a flavor similar to sharp parsley if picked young…..
Young leaves – raw or cooked as a potherb. Harvested in the spring before the plant flowers, they are tasty and nutritious. The leaves are added to salads, sandwiches, soups etc, they can be used in recipes that call for leaves of beet, plantain, sow thistle or amaranth. Young stems – raw. Root – chewed by children as a gum.

Medicinal Uses:
A mild uterine hemostatic and a diuretic for water retention, rheumatism, or gout.  Not a potent plant, a fair amount is needed for effect depending on the use.  The entire plant may be put into a warm-water bath for a person suffering the pains of rheumatism.  The leaves have been made into a hot tea used to increase urine flow, to treat uterine hemorrhage and water retention, and to increase perspiration.  Storksbill is a traditional afterbirth remedy in northern Mexico and New Mexico, said to reliably decrease bleeding and help prevent infection.  A tablespoon of the root and leaves are brewed into tea and drunk three or four times a day.  A tablespoon of the plant with an equal part of comfrey leaves or borage steeped in a pint of water and used for douching is considered a reliable treatment for cervicitis, especially if it has been preceded by vaginal inflammation and no uterine infection is involved.  For joint inflammations a fair amount of the tea is consumed and the wet leaves used for a poultice for several days, the swellings subsiding by the third or fourth day.  Little adverse effect on the kidneys when used as a diuretic and is an older herbal treatment in China for hematuria, particularly from kidney trauma.  One of the many reliable herbs for heavy, painful menstruation.  The root and leaves have been eaten by nursing mothers to increase the flow of milk. Externally, the plant has been used as a wash on animal bites, skin infections etc. A poultice of the chewed root has been applied to sores and rashes. An infusion has been used in the treatment of typhoid fever. The seeds contain vitamin K, a poultice of them is applied to gouty tophus

Other Uses:  A green dye is obtained from the whole plant. It does not require a mordant. The remnants of the styles are very hygroscopic, they can be used in hygrometers and as weather indicators. The dried plant powder has been mixed with watermelon seeds during storage and planting in order to prevent watermelon disease.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erodium_cicutarium
http://www.issg.org/database/species/ecology.asp?fr=1&si=518
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm

http://digilander.libero.it/ipdid/photos-eng/erodium-cicutarium—alfilaria.htm