As the sun dipped below the horizon, I was standing on my balcony and looking at the brilliantly red and orange skies. Despite the serene environment, my mind was processing multiple thoughts and suddenly it raced back to Class 11 Economics. I was reminded of an interesting concept I had studied back then.
Utility. It is one of the major concepts in economics.
I remembered how the teacher explained the concept by relating it to food. She had explained that once a person has had a spoonful of food, he would be satiated by a little bit and that he would enjoy the next spoonful a little lesser than how he enjoyed the first.
That was how the laws of utility operated. The marginal utility was constantly diminishing with every spoonful.
I was trying hard to apply this concept on that one dish which unites foodies from all corners of India, Biryani. Biryani, a brilliantly balanced amalgamation of the world renowned Indian spices and flavors, leaves everyone craving. Even though India has a huge culinary platter, that one dish which is inescapable in any part of India is Biryani. Indian cuisine is never complete without tasting this legendary dish. With local and hyper-local variations, this deliciously complex blend of flavors, spices and aromas has evolved into distinct styles, offering a variety of options to choose from.
For a hardcore Biryani fan, a week without Biryani is unimaginable. Concurrently, biryani is also the most-ordered dish on all food delivery apps in India. Even though foodies dig into this mouth-watering delicacy at every possible juncture, they never seem to get tired of it. The marginal utility doesn’t seem to diminish at all.
According to these people who defy the laws of marginal utility, there are two kinds of people in the world, the kind that loves Biryani and the kind that don’t. We aren’t particularly bothered by the second kind if you are in love with Biryani. On the bad days, there’s nothing that comforts the former like a steaming, aromatic plate filled with delicious Biryani.
Where did it all begin and how did it reach its legendary status?
The origin of the dish is uncertain. Some claim that the dish was created in the Mughals’ royal kitchen, while others claim that it originated in Persia and travelled to India through the Mughals or the Arab traders. A few people even claim that biryani existed in India even before the Mughal invasion. Immaterial of the origin of this dish, people in different parts of India have given it their twists and tweaks and developed different varieties of this dish.
Today, biryani is made in huge quantities in every nook and cranny of this country making it available even at 3 AM to fulfil one’s midnight cravings. Biryani is a complete meal by itself and doesn’t necessitate the need to order for another dish alongside like roti & subzi thereby making it economical for those who eat out and enabling them to cut down on their food budget and increase their savings. Also, ordering food for a group of people is a troublesome affair. Biryani makes this job easier too!
Biryani, once considered a dish for the royalty has now become a dish that reflects local sensibilities and enjoys the love of every strata of the society. It brings people together. It is no more a food. It has become an emotion. Is this dish over-rated? Definitely NO! It is simply over-loved.
I know that you now crave for a biryani. Go grab yourself one!