Sare jahan se achhi biryani hamari

Swiggy may not be Prashant Kishor, but if the online food-ordering and -delivery platform’s sales data throws up one juicy fact to chew on, it’s this: in 2023, India ordered 2.5 plates of biryani every second. Side plate note: for every 5.5 chicken biryanis ordered, there was one veg biryani. Mind you, this isn’t just about the super spike during Ramzan – when during iftar (5.30-7 pm), around 6 mn plates of the good stuff were ordered from Mar 12 to Apr 8 this year alone. Like chow mein ain’t just for Sinophiles, and cakes aren’t only chomped during Christmas, biryani ain’t just for non-vegetarians or ‘non-non-Hindus’.

So, worry not about the distant possibility of terrorists being fed biryani at a future PM’s house. The chances are equally slim and high that they could be fed pav bhaji or samosas. But whether you’re sharing with a terrorist or with a pugilist, Swiggy’s most-popular order for the eighth year in a row is as secularised as the roti, as diversely consumed as India itself. In fact, if one looks at this year’s IPL final, it was pretty much a contest between Hyderabadi biryani and its Kolkata-style cousin, the one with the aloo – the latter – winning with aplomb this time. After reading this, if you’re tempted enough to order a plate or two or three via Swiggy, Zomato or your local biryani takeaway, our job is done.


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