‘Rice to the occasion’ with biryanis of India

It takes effort, resources and resilience to travel across India to extract authentic recipes of biryani by tracing linkages.

Published: 26th August 2018 07:37 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th August 2018 07:37 AM   |  A+A-

Image of biriyani used for representational purposes only. (Photo | EPS)

Call it The Biryani Project and for good reason. It takes effort, resources and resilience to travel across India to extract authentic recipes of biryani by tracing linkages to the lineages of ustads (masters), who have been making it for centuries. It’s a project with the aim of preserving the identity of the dish in a day when a shabbily assembled plate of pullao is audaciously served as biryani, and non-connoisseur cannot tell the difference. So I decided to write about The Biryani Project that gives you easy access to this popular rice and meat dish to relish its history, as well as its flavours.

The menu is short and simple. It consist of biryani from four regions— Lucknowi, Hyderabadi, Godavari and Bohri. Each title comes with a short description as background information. My long-standing impression was that biryani was something that’s best enjoyed hot and fresh. The rice has to be savoured as the first batch of steam carrying aromas of the meat and spices, is released from the hot pot. So I was unsure what this online biryani would taste like. What came finally didn’t disappoint. We had Hyderabadi Chicken and Godavari biryanis.

They came in handis (pots), sealed with colourful dough on the top. Upon cracking it open, the Hyderabadi biryani greeted me with whole spices, strong but not overbearing. The rice retained the denseness of pepper, cardamom and cloves, not succumbing to the strong scent of the meat. Godavari was milder with curry leaves and star anise lending the baghara rice a relish. There was spiced curd with a large, dry Kashmiri chilli with both. Biryani pots had brand tags that came with instructions of how to heat and serve biryani. But it would have been nice if it also carried the names of the biryanis for identification. The handis come in one kg and half kg portions.

The meat quantity was fair, not ideal. There was no salan with Hyderabadi biryani. The operating hours are shorter than other delivery portals, with 10 pm as the last order. For the convenience the brand gives, it’s a good bet. Also great for those who want to acquaint themselves with characteristics of biryanis from different regions of India.

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