Band Baaja Biryani is fine-tuning the Kolkata biryani for modern palates
"A good plate of biryani is the very least people in Kolkata expect,” Dhruv Grover of Band Baaja Biryani tells us. It’s hard to argue with this sentiment, especially if one is aware of Kolkata’s history with the dish. Grover and Anirudh Gupta are also the names behind another popular cloud kitchen Brewing Leaf that designs one-of-a-kind tea blends, and Grover explains how the concept of an expert-led tea kitchen influenced his idea for a well-researched blend of biryani
“The USP of Brewing Leaf was that we developed our own brewing machines, our experiential teas gained relevance very quickly, like paan chai, or aam ada chai. We balance these customisations without steering it away from how tea is supposed to taste like. Band Baaja Biryani was designed along the same thought because the taste of Biryani changes every 200 metres but for most people, the Biryani’s taste is defined by memories, they associate it with their favourite restaurant. We wanted to serve a biryani that’s light, flavourful and an improvement on the biryani we are used to - but something that is also a well-rounded Kolkata biryani,” he weighs in.
Grover reveals that he never envisioned the young brand competing with the biggies of the city, simply because he was trying to make something better and more versatile. “We put in a lot of research into the kind of biryani people really enjoy, and we realised that no one wants a biryani that’s too heavy or overwhelming. They want to feel good even after they finish a plate of biryani, that is the gap we are trying to bridge. We tried to create a blend that did not have any dalda. We worked around the traditional recipe and yet our focus was always to serve a true Kolkata biryani,” we are told.
Band Baaja Biryani is also one of the first brands in the city to lead the customised biryani trend, where customers can moderate their order, especially vis-a-vis quantity. Convenient and easy portioning is something a lot of young culinary brands are going for since takeouts are gaining ground over dine-ins. “We are making it easier to order in; we have kept things simplistic. There's mutton biryani, chicken biryani and egg biryani and people can add as many numbers of aloo or mutton or chicken as they want and that solves a big issue people usually face over ordering biryani portions. Here you can just buy one special biryani and maybe get some more pieces of meat so it’s a lot more shareable,” Grover remarks.
However, Team Band Baaja Biryani doesn’t want to take the celebratory aspect away from the biryani and is essentially upgrading the experience by making it more functional. “A plate of biryani also has a celebratory aspect to it, you don’t usually order biryani like you order chilli chicken, for example. That’s also why we named the brand Band Baaja Biryani, it’s about ecstasy and celebration,” Grover says.