March 11, 2024

The Most Important Skill I’ve learned from my Biryani-Making Boyfriend.

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I have always loved cooking.

Whether it’s whipping up savory dishes or making desserts, I’ve dabbled in it all and found immense joy.

But there was always one ingredient missing in my creations—patience. Nonetheless, whatever I made usually turned out to be edible if not great, except for this one time in high school when a challenge led to a pasta dish only one soul dared to eat—the guy who had a crush on me.

Now, enter my boyfriend, a culinary wizard. Unlike me, he approaches cooking with the patience of a saint. And his favourite thing to make? Biryani.

He is obsessed with it. He’s constantly experimenting with different spices, meats, and techniques. Seriously, if you ask him what’s for dinner, seven times out of ten, it’s biryani. This isn’t your average rice dish though—it’s an experience. But here’s the thing about biryani: it requires time, attention…wait, did I mention patience?

The process is meticulous: it requires marinating the meat, soaking the rice, and finely slicing onions. Then you have to fry the onions to a perfect golden brown, followed by toasting dry fruits. Then comes boiling water with whole spices and partially cooking the rice while simmering the meat in another pot. Finally, you layer the rice on top of the meat with the fried onions and dry fruits, cover the pot with foil and a lid to create a “dum,” and leave it to slow cook for another 20 minutes.

I used to be the type to hastily uncover the pot, overly fixated on the end result. And surprise, surprise, my biryani never quite hit the mark. But not anymore.

Sure, I still have my impatient days, but I’ve learned to appreciate each step of the process, understanding the little details that make all the difference. How long to fry the onions. How to par-cook the rice just right. When to layer everything up and let it simmer.

Watching my boyfriend cook biryani has taught me more than a recipe. It has taught me that patience isn’t just about waiting for the end result. It’s about embracing the process, leaning into and enjoying each step along the way—a lesson that extends far beyond the kitchen.


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