Friday, June 7, 2013

Biryani Blues

All right.... I have stayed in Gurgaon and Delhi for most of my life. One of the staple dishes that we have is the Biryani. Biryani is basically rice cooked with spices and meat. The meat is usually chicken or mutton. The rice can be white or colored.

Now as I have grown up and traveled to various parts of the country, there are different versions of the biryani at different places. As with India with the diversity is so vast, where every 50 kms the dialect changes, it is but obvious to expect that the even the cooking styles and signature also change. For instance the biryani in Delhi is far too different from the Biryani in Lucknow and different from that in Hyderabad.

Traditionally biryani in Kashmir consists of the yakhni, which involves cooking a stew with the meat and then cooking the rice in the stew. On the contrary we have Hyderabadi Biryani which is equally famous which involves slow cooking and often referred to as the dum biryani. Equally interesting and distinct flavored is the Lucknow biryani. IN Lucknow at Tunde Kebab, the biryani is bright yellow and white and orange rice mixed with meat.
Other than these three areas renowned for BIryani, every other city has its own style and flavor. I do admit at other places there is a lot of abuse as well in the name of Biryani. Often soggy rices or over cooked and then recooked with spices and meat does make it difficult for people with taste to take the trash. I have had biryani also at other places such as Pune, Delhi, Kanpur etc.

Coming to Hyderabadi Biryani, if you are in Hyderabad, then you would know the taste and how great it is. Be it at Paradise at Secunderabad or Hyderabad House chains all across or Hyderabad restaurant at Yusufguda or Bawarchi or any place for that matter. The city loves its biryani. Different packs, sizes but quintessentially the same style of biryani, served with one full chicken leg, mirchi ka salan, the thin watery curd raita with onion tomato and coriander leaves. Some have boiled eggs on top of them, some with egg and chicken 65. There is single packs, family packs, jumbo packs. I still remember during my MBA days when we used to hog on biryani but when we saw nearby Hyderabadi or Telegu people and their rice eating skills was phenomenal. We used to have parties with the BBC gang on terrace tops, the bottles on one end and then two if us going on a bike to Yousufguda or some place and picking up the jumbo packs, with 3-5 kgs of biryani. After getting smashed and sloshed and all the singing, dancing, it came down to the biryani bags and the chicken in it. Those were the days.

I left Hyderabad in 2007 and since then I have had biryani but I was amused whenever I saw Hyderabadi Biryani in Gurgaon. I chuckled and said to my self as if these clowns have a clue. On many instances I tried only to be disappointed. Years have passed and I still wonder when I would be going back again to Hyderabad.

Coming back to my review for a place I tried and my apologies for such a long foreplay as I did get overwhelmed and swept away.

This year while visiting India and being at home after such a long time, I realized my craving for Biryani was again resurfacing. One of these days in the market opposite to my house, which is otherwise called DLF Super Mart -I, I saw a board from outside saying Biryani Blues. So I decide to check it out. The interiors are pretty descent Id say. Small shop but elegantly done with small wooden tables with wrought iron and simple chairs, white walls with brick layout design made it look spacious and bigger and at least not cramped up. The wall had many funny posters explaining local Hyderabadi Lingo. I got a feeling as if it was a pretty new start up but when I asked the counter guy, he mentioned its been there for 3 months now. At 8:30 in the night it was quite busy, mostly for delivery orders.

I looked at the menu and being in a rush I ordered the mutton or the goat biryani. The order was given in about 5 minutes and cost about Rs 400/-. I head back home and opened the takeaway box. This Birayani was yum. It is probably the closest and best Hyderabadi Biryani I have had so far outside Hyderabad.

It just hit the spot and one bite made me remember the Hyderabad days. The goat meat, was to my amazement, so tender. I mean usually outside, at regular and most restaurants, the quality of mutton is not so good. Awfully chopped pieces to bones and chewy meat are all symptoms that are like nightmares for the goat meat lovers. Anyways the biryani here was really really good. Well spiced. Served with mirchi ka salan and thin raita. All authentic.

Let me tell you how Much I liked this biryani. On the day when I was to fly back to Sydney, I was busy throughout the day like crazy. I had my cab booked at 7:15 p.m. I took my car to the nearby market for one last time to buy medicines and on the way back,  the aroma and scent hit my senses once again and I got tempted to visit again for a takeaway. Knowing I am getting late, I reached back at 7:00 and had the biryani before I head off for the airport. I mean imagine, bollywood would be so disappointed with me. Not following the stereotyped scenes where the hero rushes to the airport to say good bye and profess undying love for one last time, here I am rushing to have the final biryani and savor the taste for one last time.

Highly recommended to my readers.

Biryani Blues - Flavours of Hyderabad
Thea Kitchen Private Limited, 
B 204 Upper Ground Floor, 
Supermart 1 DLF Phase IV, 
Gurgaon - 122002 
email:  or 
+91 124 4227308
+91 9871032020

1 comment:

  1. It's my favorite food. Thanks for sharing with us.I really love to share this blog with my friends.

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