HYDERABAD: There lies a popular misconception that Kalyani biryani is the beef counterpart of Hyderabadi biriyani. Yes, it is true that Kalyani biryani is beef biryani but it cannot be simply dismissed as ‘sister of Hyderabadi biryani’. Kalyani biryani stands on its own when it comes to aroma, flavour and even appearance. The biryani has a cultural past.
Story behind Kalyani biryani:
Behind every plate of biryani there is a story. A story that is filled with myths and facts. Hyderabadi biryani is a delicacy that has come straight from Nizam’s kitchen. Likewise, Kalyani biryani too has a royal lineage. Its legacy comes from the Kalyani Nawabs of Bidar. Kalyani is the erstwhile name of Basavakalyan, a town in Bidar, Karnataka.
Kalyani Nawabs who were fief holders of he Nizam’s territory set up their royal residence known as Kalyani Nawab ki Devdi.
It can be found at Moghalpura, just beyond Charminar in a bylane leading to Shahalibanda. Now, there is a tomb of the Nawab and the locals call it Maqbara Kalyani Nawab.
According to Mohit Balachandran, who blogs on Indian street food, Kalyani Biryani became popular when Dawood, who worked in the kitchen of Kalyani Nawab opened an outlet near Mahbub Chowk. Even though the shop has lost some of its sheen, it can be still found there.
How different is this?
“Kalyani biryani is made with beef. But it does not mean it is prepared like its meat or chicken version. The masalas that we use are not so expensive. The proportion of cardamom and cumin is also different,” says Srinivasa Reddy owner of Hotel Hyderabad Chicken and Kalyani Biryani House, Chandanagar. In the kitchen, it is Mohammed Sajad from West Bengal who prepares the Kalyani biryani in this restaurant. He learnt the cooking process at hotel Banjara Darbar in Punjagutta. Even the chef himself admits that this will not be the authentic form of Kalyani biryani. “While making Hyderabadi biryani the ingredients are mixed with the meat and marinated before cooking. Whereas in Kalyani biryani the meat is added during the cooking process and then prepared in dum style. Cooking kalyani takes shorter time than Hyderabadi biryani.” Saffron, which is a major ingredient of Hyderabadi biryani, is not added in Kalyani biryani, and there is a distinct flavour of coriander and tomato in it. The more expensive ingredients like cashew, raisins and almonds are also not added in Kalyani biryani.
Kalyani is also known as ‘poor man’s Hyderabadi biryani’. They are those who feel Kalyani biryani should not be called biryani at all. As Srinivasa Reddy says let us remember that not every beef biryani is Kalyani biryani.
Where to Eat?
Few places to eat
Alha Citizen Sahara
Pillar No 97,
Ring Road, Attapur
Cost for two: Rs200
Near Indian Oil petrol pump, Main road,
Cost for two: Rs140
Saddam Kalyani biryani
Opposite Mecca Masjid, Charminar
Cost for two: Rs100
Bismillah Kalyani biryani
Opposite Aafia Marbles Showroom
Suraram Main Road
Cost for two: Rs120
Contact: +91 9948442133
Door No.11-2-284, beside Bismillah Hotel
Nampally market road, Mallepally
Cost for two: 180
Contact: 093467 26931