B  I  R  I  Y  A  N  I
can you smell it.. :)

Friday, January 30, 2015

Kick starting this journey with a quick intro.

There are 2 kinds of people in the world

  • Those who have a 'true love' for food
  • And those who do not deserve to be on earth. (Can be sent to Neptune, with oxygen tanks, nutrition pills and whatever which may keep alive)
Biriyani tasting is an art. Some people make it their mandatory main course item. Some people just dont mind what's on their plate, some travel quite some distance for a hot plate of their favorite biriyani, some of them go to wedding functions just for this. Some take pride in their own preparation. You could simply put it as "perception". But the truth is.. it requires great skill (aquired or born-with) to be a true biriyani master (maker or consumer). This could be applicable for any food for that matter. But biriyani is at the top of the list.

India has a great appetite for the dish. 1000s of chefs, cooks, families have spent 1000s of hours making, thinking and mastering this dish.

if you ask a person from hydrabad to eat a plate of mutton biriyani from thalapakatti, dont be surprised if he/she declines it. His/her tongue is probably seasoned with the "paradise" style stuff.

Incidently this hydrabad style biriyani is the least favorite among chennai-ites. That's the reason I have not included that in the poll. You do find some guys calling themselves 'hydrabad biriyani', but 90% of them have just borrowed the name and not the recipe from the great city..

Nevertheless, chennai has enough options to explore. Plenty. Plennnnnnty.
there are a few biriyani hubs in chennai (for instance, you would find nearly 30 small exclusive biriyani shops in a 2km radius of Periyamet!!!), but the passion is scattered all over this remarkable and amazing city.

The posts in this blog will rate places, small or big, near or far, ala carte or buffet, based on the biriyani that they serve. This is a guide for biriyani hunt in chennai.

Every review will carry a rating on a 10 point scale. Will give you the location, price, ambiance and few other details. Will also say what category it belongs to. It could be one among the following:

  • B - Bhai Biriyani (atleast that's what I call it) 
    • Arcot, Ambur, Vaniyambadi style
    • Predominantly the shops may carry muslim names.
    • Could be a small hotel or a big restaurant, but in most cases it is merely a booth style arrangement with a "plate master" with big dabara set (huge vessel) in front of the store. Sometimes it is just this dabara set with the masters.
    • Rich and aromatic with lotsa ginger and garlic. Basmathi rice. mostly light reddish or pale pink in colour. Served with onion raita and brinjal curry. The texture of the biriyani is usually a little moist, Quite oily.
  • D - Dindugal Biriyani
    • Dindugal style. a whole different animal.
    • Thalapakatti restaurant style. Also junior kuppanna etc.
    • Brown in colour. Made with 'Jeeraga samba' rice. Spicier than B but not C. 
    • Served with onion raita and gravy.
  • C - Chettinad Biriyani
    • Karaikudi style.
    • The one which you get in chettinad restaurants (anjappar, karaikudi and even salem RR for that matter).
    • Brownish yellow in colour. Again made with basmati rice. Spicier than 'B'. Contains a lot more spices. The texture is not so moist. It is a little dry.
    • Served with onion raita and chettinad gravy.
  • M - Mallu Biriyani
    • Malabar style. way different from all the above.
    • the one you get in hotels like safari, runs, coronet, samco etc. But usually biriyani is not the hot favorite in these restaurants. it's their parotas and side gravies. There are other formats like Hotel cresent etc.
    • This is the least spicy among all categories. Sometimes you may find some sweetness here and there (raisins and some other fruits). This is pale yellow or sometime yellowish white in colour. 
    • Served with onion raita and non veg coconut gravy.
  • O - Others - Miscellaneous
    • I am putting even Hydrabad style biriyani in this category, since it's not that popular in Chennai.

Come what may, even if a particular restaurant has other favorite dishes, I promise you, it will all be about biriyani!

Although I advise you to eat your biriyani with your fingers!!

Happy hunting!

p.s. if you have any suggestion, any places that you like, then pls let me know. Will explore that place and will review it here. After all,  life is all about mutual coexistence. :)

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