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Why biryani’s place is in the heart

Mutton Biryani

Mutton Biryani  

When rice and meat (or sometimes vegetables) come together, they create magic, says this columist after trying Go! Biryani

Now that the biryani is in the news — with some sections trying to turn it into a symbol of divisive politics — I must pen an ode to the dish that is so close to my heart. Regular readers will know that I never say no to biryani. And while I love them all — Awadhi, Kolkata, Moplah or Tamil biryani — I think the crown goes to Hyderabad's kachchi biryani.

That is why I was somewhat intrigued when I got a call from a young representative of a Hyderabadi food delivery outlet known as Go! Biryani. No prizes for guessing what’s on the menu: There is biryani, of course, but what interested me was that it also sells haleem (and a host of other dishes).

The man behind Go! Biryani is a software engineer called Ahmed Khan, who came to Delhi following a dream and the aroma of spices, after working in Dubai for a while. Ahmed is from Hyderabad, and I am told he was inspired by his mother, who ran a catering business. He trained the chefs at the outlet, and introduced them to the intricacies of Hyderabadi cuisine. The outcome is the kind of food that you relish.

On the menu are various kinds of biryani dishes such as Chicken 65 Biryani, Egg Dum Biryani, and Keema Dum Biryani. It also offers Chicken Korma, Chicken 65, Nargisi Kebab, Paneer 65, Soya 65, Potato 65 and Vegetable Chowgra (a dish of mixed veggies and cottage cheese).

Shami Kebab

Shami Kebab   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Right now, the outlet (at Ganga shopping complex, Sector 29, Noida; from 11:30 a.m. to 4:00 a.m.; 8010755755) delivers only to Indirapuram and Noida, but plans to expand to other areas.

I tried out the Chicken Zafrani Biryani (₹319) and the Mutton Zafrani Biryani (₹289). Both the rice dishes were well cooked, with juicy pieces of meat nestling in the aromatic grains of rice. The mutton biryani had boneless pieces of meat, deliciously tender and spicy. It had been cooked on dum – on slow heat in a sealed container – and came with raita and salan. I enjoyed the salan, too, which was mildly spicy. The vegetable dum biryani (₹229) is cooked with beans, carrot, cauliflower and peas.

I loved the Golconda Signature Haleem (₹219). This meat-and-lentil dish was creamy and smooth, and had just the right proportion of spices. The ingredients had been mashed just right, too. The addition of coriander leaves to the haleem gave it a nice colour and twist. What they call the Stuffed Chicken Shami Kebab (₹269 for four pieces) is a bit like Shikampuri Kebab, I thought, but with a small core of fresh cottage cheese, green chillies and coriander leaves adding to the taste.

I ended my meal with just a spoonful of Shahi Tukda (₹129). This dessert of fried bread soaked in sugar syrup and topped with nuts was just the right way to end what turned out to be a very nice meal, indeed. I am glad that young Ahmed followed in his mother’s footsteps – and realised his dream.

The writer is a veteran food critic

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 8:19:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/food/why-biryanis-place-is-in-the-heart/article30761127.ece

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