Food

Biryani with a twist

There’s a biryani for every kind of foodie  

Dum laga ke…biryani is the routine. It is the best no doubt, but a little twist wouldn’t harm. Will it? Before you think you can put on your thinking cap and experiment with some twists to the traditional biryani, Avakai Biryani and Ulavacharu Biryani are not mere names of movies. They are on the menu of restaurants and vegetarians love it. While they do so, they are also raving about another vegetarian—mushroom biryani. So, no poking fun at vegetarians for the lack of choice and the wrong notion that they have to settle for biryani with a sliced boiled potato and paneer piece (which is a rare find).



What about twisted non veg biryanis? There are many and each time a new name is included it is tasted and liked, until a new one arrives. Chef and owner of Simply South explains, “each time we are approached for parties we are asked to suggest something different and new. Such pressures and demand lead to the birth of avakaya biryani, chicken 65 biryani, fried chicken birynai etc. Personally I am a lover of the traditional mutton biryani, but I am also a very poor eater. Biryani is best with bones because as it cooks the bones which cook with the rice and meeat adds flavour and improves the taste. However, the buffet arrangement makes it cumbersome to eat meat with bones, so boneless biryani came into being. New entrants are many but it lasts only till the palate is excited about it. However, new varieties is a good sign, it means the demand to eat out is ever thriving.”



The newest and the latest varieties to hit the restaurant menus these days are many but can it beat a biryani named after the experimental chef himself? Ravikanth dum biryani. When asked if he sits on dum to make it special, he laughed. “No I am not even a chef. I am an hobby chef and an entrepreneur. The hobby chef in me made a few dishes and invited my friends, out of which a few were photographers by choice. One of them— Sanjay Borra made a video blog and put it on Youtube. I was famous and so were my biryanis,” says Ravikanth, who owns are a restaurant called Seven Biryanis in Begumpet. And what has to offer, “biryanis and pulaos which are loved in different regions of the two states”



Ravikanth says, the newest names if one has to list out will be natukodi pulao, Rajamundhry Ajanta kodi pulao, konaseema kodi pulao, rajugari kodi pulao and the list goes on and on. The reason Rohan Lepps introduced Chicken 65 biryani at his restaurant is “the area where my restaurant is located has a mixed crowd. It also isn’t too far from where one gets the traditional dum biryani, so why not something new.” Chicken 65 biryani is spicy, non sticky and a lot of flavours explode with each morsel. Not for mild spice eaters. The other name in the spicy list can is pachchi mirchi kodi birynai served at Ulavarcharu the restaurant.



Something for everyone

Biryani may come in all sorts of varieties and while it’s usually the traditional Dum biryani that wins hands down, Hyderabadi foodies are gung-ho to try the new versions dished out as well. So from digging into some slurpy Ulavacharu biryani to the pickle-flavoured Avakaya biryani, there are takers for all varieties of the Hyderabadi delicacy.

Says Rajesh K., an IT professional, “I usually love the double masala biryani served at Astoria, near RTC cross roads. The extra spices make the biryani more flavourful and robust. If I’m looking for something different then I head to Palamuru Grill near Hitec City for their Ulavacharu biryani. I’ve tried this variant at a couple of other restaurants but like it best here since the tangy horse-gram gravy is well balanced and complements the biryani without overpowering it.”

For Priyanka Kumar, a student, a boneless biryani is more preferable. “I’ve never really enjoyed eating meat with bones and usually opt for dishes that are boneless. That is also why I’ve begun enjoying the Chicken 65 biryani and the Chicken fry biryani. I particularly enjoy the Chicken fry biryani at Spicy Venue and Shadab,” she says.

The Chicken 65 and Fry chicken biryanis are also spicier than their more traditional, dum counterparts, and seem to tantalise the South Indian taste buds. “That is one of the reasons I request for a Chicken 65 biryani at restaurants, even if the rest of my group sticks to the traditional version. Not that I don’t like a good old dum biryani, but I do love the generous dose of green chillies that I love to bite into,” says Siddharth Rao, an entrepreneur.

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Printable version | Apr 29, 2021 10:13:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/Food/biryani-with-a-twist/article7028414.ece

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