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  • Writer's pictureAtalbihari Baddar

The Journey of Biryani

Updated: Jan 29, 2021

No matter what language we speak Hindi, Tamil, German, Japanese, Chinese or English we can cook something that can be enjoyed with all on a dining table. We all understand the common language of sharing food and recipes, and if we look in to our history when kingdoms used to carry royal chefs to other kingdoms to cook signature dishes for the kings and take back new recipes. The business class used to trade spices resulting in spread of the food trail further. Many popular dishes of a locality have roots in some other country with a dash of local flavor.

Image by Akshrajodha, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Many professional chef have agreed in a program on National Geographic that we ourselves have certain type of taste, flavor and aroma we like, making us emotional, pushing us to share our flavor and taste experiences with others.

Across our cultural backgrounds, while the ingredients, preparation, serving and consumption of food may vary, but it is the medium through which we communicate emotions, showcase our creativity and create memories. In short, the sharing of food with others that keeps us connected.

What will be a better way than social media platforms for people to share love about food in terms of recipe videos, a food selfie or a quick Instagram video.

No wonder TikTok, the popular short video platform has witnessed ‘Food’ getting in the top 5 categories with a 50% increase in video content. Food recipes, mukbangs, food reviews, and kitchen hacks are few of the most popular themes that are topped in the food category in year 2019. TikTok’s food theme based campaign, #TikTokFoodie had generated over 4.5 billion views, highlighting the popularity of food content among netizens.

In case of Youtube, the combined YouTube viewership of all food channels across genres measures around 8.36 billion. Similar to TikTok, food reviews, recipe, healthy diet, and kitchen tips are among the top video themes. In case of Facebook, the combined viewership of food related videos is around 2.85 billion.

When I discuss with people about food, I discover so much more than mere ingredients, spices and food recipes. I try to learn traditions, cultural synergies, relationships and much more. Similarly when people ask me about food, I take them through my Rajasthani food heritage through various dishes and experiences with food. There is always an emotion, a story attached to food, and it is that story, those emotions that connect us.

Food always get people talking, facilitates conversations, initiates debates and acts as an emotional platform using which people strengthen relationships. I have a real life story on how food got people talking, debating and facilitated huge platform for online conversation which lasted for couple of months.

When I was reviewing a social media campaign schedule with an agency for one of the travel brand I worked for, we brainstormed on using food as one of the stimuli for our posts. The agency team came up with a set of mobile optimized creative with various Indian dishes including Biryani. Post few days of rolling the initial set of posts, I realized that a specific post on Biryani has got more engagement in terms of clicks and comments from various people about claiming how their local biryani is best.

Yes. There can be nothing better than a plateful of the quintessential `biryani’, made with succulent pieces of meat or vegetables, feel food lovers. After all, biryani is not just a wholesome meal, but also evokes nostalgia as a royal and iconic dish.

Originally from Persia, and introduced in India by Mughal rulers, the dish is a delight to eat and a challenge for chefs to prepare. In a perfect pot of biryani, every grain of rice is separate, yet infused with aromas of various spices and has meat or vegetables paired with it.

I thought through it and arranged for a conference call with creative team of agency and suggested to create a biryani trail plotted on map of India. They created an awesome infographic showing the journey of biryani which created history for our brand.

Image Source

In matter of a week’s time the infographic post reached more than 2 million social profiles.

We as a team experienced power of social media and its viral behaviour.

People initiated huge discussions on community sites by posting the info-graphic, people across cities and countries debated on facebook posts, twitter tweet threads and community platforms, hotels posted on their sites and announced a special journey of biryani theme based meals. The buzz went for more than a month and the story reached and connected millions of hearts.

If we ask ourselves few questions,

Does food connects us?

Do we enjoy barbecue cooking with our family and friends?

Do we love a candle lit dinner with our love ones?

All the answers will be yes as it is integral part of us, In fact, we have been sharing foods across the history of mankind and it works as an emotional bond that connects all of us.

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