Biryani, Moradabadi style

Abdul bhai at his Muradabad Biryani outlet near Mother Dairy Plant, Ganesh Nagar in East Delhi . Photo Rajeev Bhatt.   | Photo Credit: Rajeev Bhatt

If you’d like a bit of excitement in your life, I would suggest that, in a crowded room, casually pass a remark about a particular kind of biryani. Say something like: “Oh, I love Hyderabadi biryani” or even “I can’t stand Awadhi biryani.” Then just sit back and enjoy the fireworks.

You’ll find that everybody in the room will have strong views on which region has the tastiest biryani to offer. The Calcutta biryani lover will tell you that nothing quite beats the potato-in-the rice biryani that you get in the east, and your Malayalee friend will sniff and say that the biryanis in the South are the best. And the friends from the North will snigger rudely.

I must admit that I actually enjoy all kinds of biryanis, but like to see people get incensed about their favourites. I like the rich Awadhi biryani, and don’t mind the somewhat lashkari Delhi biryani either. I love Hyderabad’s kachchey gosht ki biryani and Calcutta’s lightly spiced biryani. I enjoy the various kinds of biryanis that you get in the south. And, I have just discovered, I quite like Moradabadi biryani.

I came to know from my food comrade, Amol, that a Moradabadi biryani counter had opened in the Patparganj area. I went there on Eid a few weeks ago but found only chicken biryani there. I bought it nevertheless, and had a bite of it at home. It was nice, I thought, and decided that I would go back there for the mutton biryani one day.

I did that a few days ago when some friends came home unexpectedly for dinner. There was nothing great at home, so I went to the Moradabadi biryani place and found that the place was humming. People were packing food, some were eating there, and there was a wonderful aroma of spices, rice and meat in the air.

The eatery is called Abdul Muradabadi. The address is Shop no 72, Anmol Complex, Ganesh Nagar Bus Stop, Pandav Nagar (Phone Nos. – Abdul: 7503320144 and Nazim: 9650464171).

The small shop is just opposite the big Mother Dairy plant, near a series of furniture shops.

I went inside and found that huge deghs of biryani and korma had just come in. So I asked them to pack for me two plates of mutton biryani and two plates of chicken korma.

The chicken korma was for Rs.240 a plate and the mutton biryani for Rs.260. Chicken biryani is for Rs.160 and mutton korma for Rs.380 a plate. They also do a vegetable biryani, about which, I am sorry to say, I didn’t ask.

I found the mutton biryani surprisingly good. The rice – long grained and not the least bit oily – had the flavour of green chillies and lemon, which added to the taste. The mutton was soft and well spiced, and the biryani was a nice change from the over-spiced and greasy rice preparations that you get in many parts of Delhi. The korma was a little different from the kormas that you get in Delhi – but was rather good, too. The gravy was thick and aromatic, yet not overly spiced. I haven’t tried their mutton korma yet, but will do so one of these days. I have a feeling it’s going to be nice.

The next time I am in a crowded drawing room, I am going to sing paeans to Moradabadi biryani. And I know I am going to set the congregation on fire.

( Rahul Verma is a street food connoisseur)

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Printable version | Jun 17, 2021 2:55:32 PM |

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