Popular take-away joint Ajwa has relocated and opened as a restaurant. Ajwa still serves its strong point – biriyanis
Restaurants are aplenty in the city, with a new one popping up every other day. Most of these restaurants offer a wide range of dishes to suit the varied palate of its customers. While this does offer the diners a plethora of dishes to choose from, most restaurants fail to maintain a standard for all the dishes on the menu. In the need to cater to the public, they fail to recognise which cuisine or dish their specialty lies in.
So, when I heard that popular take-away joint Ajwa, which was located at Udarasiromani Road, Vellayambalam, has relocated to Twinkle Plaza, Panavila Junction, and that it was now a restaurant, I feared the worst. But as I step into the new joint I am pleasantly surprised to note that they are still serving what they are known for – Thalassery ‘dum' biriyanis. The only addition to the menu is fried chicken and lemon tea.
The restaurant is rather plain looking at the moment as it is barely a week old. “The interiors should be ready by next week,” says Muhamed Naushad, one of Ajwa's managing partners.
As you step into the restaurant, the aroma from the biriyanis that are being prepared in the kitchen wafts through the dining area. It whets your appetite. I order a chicken biriyani (Rs. 120), a fish biriyani (Rs. 180) and a plate of fried chicken (Rs. 80) as take away. The dishes come neatly packed and are piping hot even as I reach home.
The chicken biriyani has generous pieces of chicken in it. The pieces are a bit dry though. The fish biriyani is excellent. The fish is well seasoned and cooked to perfection. The rice for both the biriyanis are flavourful and aromatic as it is cooked in ghee. Both the biriyanis are thankfully not overpowered by spices.
The salad that is served as accompaniment is simple: slices of onion and diced tomato and cucumber with a dash of salt and a squeeze of lime. The sweet and sour pickle goes well with the biriyanis.
The fried chicken is delicious. Nicely marinated and coated with masala, pieces of juicy chicken are fried till a lovely shade of gold in coconut oil. The coating is particularly tasty. “Fried chicken is usually served with biriyanis during weddings in Malabar. It goes well with the dish,” says Naushad. I can't help but agree with him. Ajwa also offers vegetarian (Rs. 100) and mutton biriyani (Rs. 150). It is open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The restaurant plans to dedicate a section of its restaurant to serving fresh juices and ice creams shortly.