Celebrate Eid weekend with biryanis that have a story to tell
As the Holy month of fasting comes to an end and we celebrate Eid, the festivities are indeed subdued owing to the turbulent times. However, one concedes that the quintessential biryani is not merely part of a feast. This single pot dish represents comfort and family — languid Sundays and homely get-togethers. This time, in an effort to celebrate this deeply satisfying meal we are shining the light on regional specials: new variants that are slow-cooked in a piñata made of dough, some traditional, some regional and all wholesome.
At Indulge we have always ardently tracked biryanis across the city and recently discovered gems like the mandi biryani from Abid’s and the keto option at Lo-Cal made from cauliflower rice, besides being sentimental about old favourites like the Mutton Ghilli Biryani from Taj Coromandel. An interesting find is a delightful brand called Arifa Apa that has found patrons through word of mouth only. We catch up with Shafee Ahmed whose family runs this enterprise that it is named after his sister who is also part of this kitchen. Expect Tamil Muslim style biryani that, we have been told by their patrons, is delicious and flavoursome. Known for limited batches and taking only pre-orders, the mutton biryani is at INR 2,500 a kilo and the chicken option is at INR 1,500.
Wave of umami
Another regional favourite is the Kamma Naidu-style biryani from the Godavari district brought to us by Nikhil Moturi (who owns the restaurant Crimson Chakra and the cloud kitchen Naidu Biryani). Instead of layering with the meat gravy, here they layer the rice with hand-pound spices. Expect it to pack a punch thanks to the addition of green chillies, and Nikhil promises that there is a ‘savoury umami’ flavour that is irresistible. Mutton biryani at INR 2,400 for a kilo and chicken biryani at INR 1,700.
Last year, we were mighty taken up with Sahibs Biryani’s prawn variant. Promising 100 prawns in a 2.5 kg quantity, the seafood was from the day’s fresh catch and found a strong following in the city. This time we are intrigued by their Parda Biryani that has succulent pieces of grilled chicken slow-cooked with rice, sealed in a piñata-like case made of roti dough that has to be cut open once ready. Following the Hyderabadi biryani style, expect an extra fragrant offering, promises Mohamed Ali, the founder of the brand. This exclusive dish is available only on pre-order at INR 2,250 and comes with a delicious phirni.
Meanwhile adapting to the new normal is a unique takeaway menu under the label Dum Bir by Kappa Chakka Kandhari. Conveniently packaged in a bento box, traditional Thalassery and Lucknowi biryani are the options here, where the former has accompaniments like the Malabar parotta and the latter woos with butter chicken! Expect a single serving of delectable biryani and accompaniments along with disposable cutlery, making it the perfect meal on the go. Malabar mutton bento at INR 575.
Pulaos that are wow
With ITC Grand Chola having launched The Biryani and Pulao Collection, we find that the 10 variants in their list come with fascinating stories and unique flavours. We pick the Chicken dish, Bibi ka Murgh Pulao at INR 750++ as a favourite, closely followed by the Metiabruz Biryani at INR 825++ which is the famous Kolkata style biryani that is scrumptious with the typical chunks of potato in the mix.
Those who crave traditional and authentic Kerala cuisine should look up Kappa Chakka Kandhari’s takeaway option from their comfort food section. Steeped in tradition, their signature Puttu Biryani is a must-try, while those who favour tenderloin should opt for Thattum Mattum (that is meat with tapioca) at INR 340. The chicken puttu biryani with kadala curry is at INR 340.
Meat you halfway
Biryani aficionados will agree that one cannot celebrate this dish without a mention of the city’s popular go-to for more than two decades now, Yasmin’s Mutton Biryani. What sets Yasmin Osman’s offering apart from others — a winning point for meat lovers — is the generous meat-rice ratio. Meanwhile, you will note as you savour the succulent pieces that the oil has been dialled down, it is delicately seasoned with spices and richly flavoured with saffron. Part of the Splendid Food Company, the minimum order is half a measure (serves five) of mutton biryani and is priced at INR 2,400.