Mission: Biryani

File photo of biryani at Sri Angannan Biryani Hotel in Coimbatore Photo: M. Periasamy  

I once hung around Thalappakatti’s T. Nagar branch for almost an hour, waiting for their evening’s batch of biryani to be prepared. The security guard thought I was crazy; he constantly gave me suspicious looks. There were several biryani shops near where I lived, selling a plate for less than Rs. 100. But they served biryani made of basmati rice. And nothing, not even a famine, can make me eat basmati biryani.

True, basmati is a superior variety of rice. But I’m from Madurai, which is very close to Dindigul, the land of seeraga samba biryani. I have grown up eating this variety, and as a result, am a purist.

Every time I move cities, ‘Mission: Biryani’ is to find restaurants that sell the best seeraga samba biryani. Coimbatore and Madurai have many, but Chennai, unfortunately, has fewer. Among them, Junior Kuppanna is my favourite, followed by Ambur Star Biryani.

Seeraga samba rice has a lovely fragrance that clings to the meat and makes the entire dish an experience. Sometimes, out of habit, I end up ordering basmati biryani at restaurants. But I waste most of it. A crime, no less. But wasting seeraga samba biryani? — one could go to hell for this.

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Printable version | Oct 19, 2021 4:42:57 AM |

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