After a great 3 weeks of holiday in India all I can think of is food. India is a country known for its diverse variety of cuisines. You can get delicious spicy food and also mouthwatering sweets. 3 weeks in India and I think I haven’t yet eaten every kind of food. But the one food item I couldn’t have enough of was Chicken Biriyani. Biriyani is a royal dish that is prepared with mainly rice and chicken. After having biriyani for the 5th time in my 1st week I thought having a word with a chef at the restaurant which makes the best biriyani in Mumbai. I asked the chef how he makes this masterpiece. He uses the most common items from the kitchen i.e. rice and chicken and yet the result is a mouthwatering food. The chef smiled and told me that you can create a master piece out of common items also. All you need is right ingredients, correct timings, patience and proper presentation. This sounded confusing and yet very familiar. Chef asked me so what do you for a living? I replied I work for a bank and I am a public speaker. Chef said “now I can explain the procedure to you much easily. Preparing biriyani is liking doing an inspirational speech”. My 1st reaction was that the chef was out of his mind. Preparing an Indian cuisine is not like giving an inspirational speech. I have done lots of inspirational speeches and I know it’s nothing like a biriyani. For starters I have never seen my audience burp after my speech, neither anybody called my speech tasty nor delicious. I was quick to protest and rejected this opinion. Chef said let me tell you how I make a simple biriyani. And then let’s see if we can agree.
Step 1- The most important ingredient for me to make a biriyani is Chicken and fine rice. I choose the best quality basmati rice for this and fresh tender chicken. The rice is like your story and chicken is the message. I am sure that you use the best story and a powerful message. I wash and refine the 2 most powerful ingredients till they are ready. I marinate the chicken with herbs and spices to give it a unique, spicy and memorable flavor. Once the chicken absorbs the flavors its ready to marry the rice.
Step 2- In a separate pan fry onions. Fry the onions till its golden and remember not to burn them. Onions are like humor in a speech. Inspirational speech with some jokes and punchlines provide the audiences much needed laughter and freshness. There are only 2 rules of using the onions. Rule 1. Make sure that they fried golden. This ensures that the onion is in line with the flavor of the rice and chicken. If the onions are used raw then it may ruin the taste of the food. Rule 2. Don’t put all the fried onions at once. Use them in all the layers of the food. This will ensure smoothness of taste and flavor spread across the food.
Step 3- Boil the rice or in other words build the story. When the rice is 70% done, it’s ready for its alliance with the chicken. It’s important that the rice is not 100% done. If that is the case then the rice and chicken will look like 2 separate items in the plate. Exactly how a story and message developments should happen. Then put oil in a cooking bowl and put layers of rice, chicken and onion. First one layer of rice, chicken and some friend onion and then again rice, onion and then chicken. Close the lit and boil in medium flame so that all the ingredient can absorb each other’s flavor and at the end of 30 minutes its one dish not 3 different items.
Step 4- After 30 minutes open the lid and add remaining onions and some fresh chopped coriander for garnishing. This final additions will make the dish memorable and the taste will stay in your mouth for longtime. You must be doing the same for your speeches, prepare a great ending to make the speech memorable.
There you go, you have your Biriyani ready and hopefully speech as well.
I was pleasantly surprised, I now know how to make biriyani and make a great inspirational speech. Simple steps, story + message + humor served in layers with right timings and mix, and conclude with a memorable ending. Great food and great speech, now that’s what I call a perfect life.