Biryani is derived from the Persian word ‘Birian’. In Farsi, Birian means ‘Fried before Cooking’.
It is mostly prepared in an earthen pot called Handi, where the rice and meat are layered at the bottom and top layer is always rice.
This post is dedicated to all the foodies in town who crave for biryani every second day!
On, 19th September, I attended the Times Passion Delhi Biryani Trail with Marryam Reshii who is one of the most celebrated food critic, connoisseur and a historian. Together we explored 5 destinations that served biryani in their own zaika!
The trail started at 12pm, from The Times House (The Times of India Head Office). We were 25 members in total who attended this trail. Every participant came from a different background with passion for food and were serious Biryani Lovers.
www.yatra.com had organised our travel in an AC Bus that was comfortable and took us around the city.
You too can explore your passions and enroll for the upcoming events, offered by The Times Group in association with www.yatra.com.
Log on to www.timespassiontrail.com and experience your passions come alive.
We started our journey from Daryaganj, walked through narrow lanes and to our surprise where we were welcomed at the residence of Mr. Shibli Anis, where we met the whole family and they introduced us with their concept of the royal cuisine of the walled city called ‘Delhi 6’.
We were welcomed with Khus Sharbat and the story of how they started ‘Delhi6’, later accompanied with Mutton Biryani and Raita.
You can visit them on their Facebook page. The link is as follows: https://www.facebook.com/thedelhi6 or contact them at+91 9818206410.
They deliver all over Delhi/NCR at Rs. 250, and give 5% discount on orders on self pick-up. Make sure you place orders with them a day well in advance.
Moving on to our next destination we headed to Mayur Vihar, Phase-1 to a cosy small open kitchen concept run by a couple who cook on charcoal using traditional spices, called ‘The Smoky Chettinad’. Chettinad Cuisine being one of the spiciest and the most aromatic cuisines of India, originated from the region of Tamil Nadu state in South India.
Kodus to their passion for cooking.
On our arrival the entire group was briefed over how the couple started this concept along with a welcome drink – The Traditional Butter Milk, later accompanied by Chettinad Mutton Biryani, served with half portion of Boiled Egg and Raita.
You can meet the cooks or call for home delivery at +91 9958267921/9560920440. Make sure you place orders with them a day well in advance as they need 16 hours to prepare a biryani. For vegetarians they require 2-3 hours prior notice for preparation.
Our third destination was Oh! Calcutta a property of Speciality Restaurants Ltd, you can view them at www.speciality.co.in.
They also run few known chains of restaurants like Mainland China, Sigree, Haka, Machaan, Flame & Grill, Global Grill, Cafe Mazzuna, Hoppipola, Asia Kitchen and Sweet Bengal.
Oh! Calcutta is situated in Nehru Place and is a fine dine restaurant that celebrates the spirit of Bengal and makes you revisit the lost culinary delights served only in Old Kolkata.
On arrival we were served Lemonade made from Gondhoraj (special lime you find in Kolkata), accompanied by Murgh Biryani and Veg Biryani (one of our team members was a vegetarian).
The use of potatoes reminded me of Kolkata as any meal they prepare in rice, potatoes are always used. The only difference in preparation. I found was that Veg had baby potatoes with veggies and the Non-veg had the regular potatoes added along with pieces of chicken.
This is the time where each one of us started to be a food critic and soon to our surprise the next destination was totally unexpected.
Our fourth destination was a Parsi Bhonu named ‘Rustoms’, situated in Adhchini, Aurbindo Marg.
As I entered this place, it felt like a glimpse of a traditional Parsi home. The interiors were tastefully done that made the ambience very homely.
We were welcomed with Pallongi’s Raspberry Soda in shot glasses with an intro from Kainaaz who runs the show.
The main course platter was a spread of Mutton Pulao served along with Masala Dal, Salli and Dahi Kachumbar.
You can view their page on Facebook, the link is as follows:www.facebook.com/rustomsbhonu.
Moving on to our Final destination, we were all ready to spare an extra tummy to keep the trail on.
We reached this new place called ‘Mahabelly” in Saket. Surprisingly, didn’t get my eyes on it as I visit the mall frequently.
On arrival, we were welcomed by Mr. Thomas Fenn (Partner of this new venture). The staff was wearing traditional outfits from the south – the Mundu and the Kerela Sari.
They served us Chicken Biryani and Prawn Biryani. Their concept of biryani was very different from the rest, Biryani had 4 layers – base being steamed rice topped with chicken masala/prawn masala with another layer of steamed rice topped with caramelised onions and nuts.
You can visit them on Facebook, the link is as follows:www.facebook.com/mahabelly.
As we finished our meal, we were all overstuffed over lip smacking biryani intake over 6 hours of our trail. The filter coffee served in the end, marked an end to this beautifully organized trail by Times of India and Yatra.
Kudos to the Team!
A special mention to Ms. Marryam Reshii for being such an amazing host and a mentor!
Stay tuned for more upcoming event stories…
Discussion Board Question (share your opinion in comments below):
What makes a good Biryani?
My Answer to this is:
Everyone has their own little list. My list is as follows:
1. Aroma. It must have both herbal and the sweet fragrance.
2. It should be savoury, rich in spices but not very spicy.
3. It should meet the traditional cooking challenge – ‘Drop a handful of Biryani on your plate, no two grains of rice should be stuck to each other’.
Love – The Bak Bak Team