A brimful of biryani
Is the most 'Googled' Indian dish across the globe today. We tell you where to gorge on variants of the desi comfort food across the city
Which Indian dish are people looking up to order in and eat? Well, according to a survey by Boston-based research aggregator SEMrush, it's chicken biryani that had an average of 4.56 lakh searches each month throughout 2019. Closer home, there's a bedlam of options that Mumbai's biryani-serving eateries are whipping up — Mughlai, Awadhi, Hyderabadi and Malwani. Here are The Guide's top eight picks.
Handi of history
Famous for their chicken, mutton and tikka biryani, this restaurant was born when a small catering business evolved into a dine-in on Grant Road in 1973. Its simplicity gives it an edge over the rest, even though it's a tad oily. But it's totally worth it and still feels wholesome as you make your way from one perfect bite to another.
At Jaffer Bhai's Delhi Darbar, 195/197, Patthe Bapu Rao Marg, Grant Road.
Time 10 am to 2 am
Cost Rs 234
Known for its Hyderabadi chicken biryani, ordering from this delivery joint is perfect for large groups, thanks to their generous portions. It's spicy, packs a punch, and the rice soaks in the juices beautifully. "This layered biryani is kept on the charcoal for 45-60 minutes in an earthen pot. The lid is sealed with dough that aids in cooking and also helps retain the flavour. The raw meat is placed at the bottom, layered with basmati rice, and coupled with spices and ghee. The trick is to not put rice at the bottom and to leave the dum untouched for the biryani to soak up the flavours," shares Ritesh Sinha, COO.
At Biryani by Kilo (delivery only)
Time 10.30 am to 12 am
Cost Rs 745
Though better known for their berry pulao, the Parsis love their version of the dish, and usually team it up with mutton. The one at this eatery in Fort has been served since the '90s. The meat melts off the bone, and you get a whammy of saffron-heavy flavours in every bite.
At Jimmy Boy, Vikas Building, 11 Bank Street, Fort.
Time 8.30 am to 11 pm
Cost Rs 405
For the love of raan
One of the oldest biryani joints, Persian Darbar has been dishing out what they claim is an authentic Persian version since 1976. Their iconic raan biryani is their big draw. This family serving can be split among five adults and includes a whole slow-cooked roasted mutton leg. They serve it with gravy.
At Persian Darbar, Linking Road, Bandra West (Also at Marol, Kurla and Byculla).
Time 12 pm to 1 am
Cost Rs 1,845
Bengali spices beckon
Kolkata-style biryani is difficult to come by in the city. Most eateries get their texture and egg, potato and meat proportions wrong, or it just isn't light enough — a signature of this type. The dish, which was introduced to Bengal when Nawab Wajid Ali Shah of Awadh was dethroned and deported to Calcutta in 1856, developed a different flavour as it was replicated using local spices and ingredients. This eatery's variant comes close.
At Peetuk, Evershine Halley Society, Kandivali East.
Time 11.30 am to 4.30 pm, 6.30 pm to 11.30pm
cost Rs 209
You might say vegetarian biryani isn't biryani, but this outlet is proving everyone wrong. "It is prepared using long-grained Basmati from the foothills of the Himalayas and a secret spice blend passed down since 1895," says Chandrakant Gharat, chef.
At K Bhagat Tarachand, Kalbadevi.
Time 10 am to 11.30 pm
Cost Rs 210
DIY dos and don'ts
1 Use a heavy bottom pot which looks as close to a lagan as possible. A Dutch oven is a great option too.
2 Slow cook the meat for more flavour and marinate it overnight.
3 Stick to the golden ratio of 3:2 for meat: rice. People tend to add more rice.
4 Don't compromise on the quality of the ingredients, especially saffron, meat and rice. Add enough salt.
5 Don't overcook the rice. A great biryani is one which has full, fluffy grains and isn't mushy.
6 Avoid putting too much masala.
By Chef Amninder Sandhu
Malvani on your mind?
This iconic Malvani eatery in the city dishes out generous portions of seafood preparations from the South Konkan region of Maharashtra and Goa. The coarsely ground Malvani masala, a combination of 15 to 16 dry spices, gives the biryani here an edge over the others, especially the prawn variant. The succulent prawns come in an aromatic bed of spicy rice.
At Jai Hind Lunch Home, Bandra East. (Also at Lower Parel, Bandra West and Dadar West).
Time 1.30 to 311.45pm
Cost Rs 370
Pair it with tari
Dishing out the authentic Lucknowi chicken biryani recipe, this Mahim eatery is popular for its mutton staple served with gravy.
At Kakori House, Mahim.
Time 11.30 am to 11.30 pm
Cost Rs 595
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