If you are a Biryani aficionado (who isn’t!), you would know what a plate of fragrant rice cooked with succulent meat and aromatic herbs can do to the senses. Although there is no particular place in India that could be pointed as the birthplace of this tasty rice dish, it is most traditionally associated with Hyderabadi cuisine of South India,Mughlai cuisine of Delhi and Awadhi cuisine of Lucknow. Each has its unique ingredients, flavours and styles of cooking.
1. Lalla’s Biryani: Lucknow’s biryani is all about the perfect seasoning of the rice and the great precision in tenderising and cooking the meat to perfection. Lalla’s Biryani at Chowpattian Chowk, is where you should be heading towards if you want to lay your hands on a colourful plate of piping hot Biryani. Be assured, the smiles post the meal are inevitable. Lallaji, the owner of this food joint is the driving force behind the success of the flavoursome biryani served here. A meal for two approximately costs 250 INR.
2. Wahid’s Biryani: Located in Aminabad’s market area of Lucknow, Wahid’s Biryani is the place to indulge in the authentic Awadhi flavours that sing melodiously from the tender chunks of well cooked succulent meat sitting amidst the perfectly seasoned rice. Besides the biryani and the complimentary salads, chutneys andraitas, tunday kebabs and seekh kebabs are also some of the other delicacies served here. A meal for two, here is approximately about 200 INR.
3. Hotel Shadab: One of the old and most popular hotels serving authentic Hyderabadi Biryani and the famousHyderabadi haleem is located near Charminar, in the Madina district of Telangana. What this restaurant lacks in its ambience, it totally makes up with its dishes as it delivers an impeccably royal Hyderabadi cuisine. Besides the paya, shirmal, Bheja fry, kheema, gurda bhaji, the chicken and the mutton biryani are spot on and are worth every penny you spend here. The biryani amount is huge and the pieces of meat are generous and very tender. A meal for two, here costs approximately about 850 INR.
4. Bawarchi: Located at RTC Cross Roads and opposite Sandhya Theatre at Chikkadapalli in Hyderabad, this restaurant gives you chicken and mutton biryani jam packed with traditional Hyderabadi flavours. Having had the prestige of being inaugurated by Bollywood actor, Sunil Shetty, this restaurant has been in business since 1994. Bawarchi boasts of a special chicken biryani that has meat cooked deliciously with a roast on the outside and is absolutely tender and juicy from the inside. A meal for two costs approximately about 600 INR.
5. Lucky’s Restaurant: Located at SV Road near Bandra Station,Mumbai this is the place a Biryani lover should not miss for anything in this world. Their chicken and mutton biryani are packed with luscious flavours of the meat and are truly to die for. Other than biryani, Paya soup, Bheja masala fry and Mutton Afghani are also famous delicacies served here. A meal for two approximately costs about 800 INR.
6. Persian Durbar: Established in the year 1976 in Byculla East,Mumbai, this restaurant has been serving phenomenal mutton and chicken biryani that sure leaves a pleasant taste in the palate that is pleasant enough to linger for more than a day’s meals. Their traditional caramel custard and firni must not be missed either if you are a dessert person too! A meal for two costs approximately about 900 INR.
7. Nasir Iqbal: Situated in Nizamuddin Basti of Delhi, this blue tiled restaurant serves scrumptious mutton biryani that is packed with flavours of green chillies, generous chunks of juicy meat and rice. Most of themughlai biryanis are served in traditional steel brass pots with Mirchi ka salan and fresh raita. The spicy food lovers can find no greater Biryani paradise than Nasir Iqbal’s. A meal for two costs approximately about 500 INR.
8. Al – Jawahar, Old Delhi: At Al–Jawahar which is located near Jama Masjid in the old Delhi pocket, the biryani is served with mutton Korma and raita as well. A meal for two here costs approximately about 700 INR. And then, there is the Firni, the perfect end to the biryani tales that is one of the delicious Mughlai versions of tasty rice custard that should not be missed!
9. Karim: In the narrow alleys of Old Delhi in Jama Masjid area, stands out one of the oldest culinary joints of India –Karim. Started in 1913 by Haji Karimuddin, this restaurant serves one of the royal Mughlai Biryanis of India and has been ranked by the Time Magazine as one of the best non vegetarian restaurants in Asia. A meal here costs approximately about 800 INR.
10. Dindigul Thalapakatti: People visiting Chennai must not miss Dindigul Thalapakatti’s Biryani for the world. Founded in 1957 by Nagasamy Naidu, this restaurant serves a traditional South Indian Biryani with succulent pieces of meat seasoned with black pepper instead of red chilli powder. In the initial recipe that was invented by Mr. Naidu, he used a special type of rice available locally in South – the Seeragasamba rice or, Parakkum sittu.This restaurant’s aromatic Biryani is bang on and is totally worth the money spent. Dindigul Thalapakatti is located in the Seven Wells Street, St. Thomas Mount, Chennai. One can get in touch with the restaurant at 044 – 43519471. A meal for two costs approximately about 700 INR.
11. Nizam’s: Kolkata’s biryani recipe is a blend of both Mughlai and Awadhi styles of cooking Biryani and has transformed the result into a perfect blend of spices, meat and rice that are sans the greasy oil and a lot of colours. However, the taste of Kolkata’s biryani is absolutely delicious and is worth coming back for, again and again. A meal for two costs approximately about 600 INR.