Home Chennai Hunt for Great Biryani

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     Dig into the spiced rice served at traditional Muslim weddings.

    With Tamil Nadu boasting biryani varieties like Dindigul, Chettinad, Erode, Ambur and others, the members of Food Consulate and the Chennai Food Guide were in a quandary when they wanted to host a biryani festival. “So we conducted a poll on our Facebook page and found that 90 per cent preferred the Tamil Muslim-style biryani over Hyderabadi, Ambur, Lucknowi or even the Malabar fish biryani,” says Yalini Swaminathan, the marketing head of Food Consulate. Cooked with aromatic long-grained basmati rice and tender lamb, the main course at the two-day festival is courtesy master chef Rahmathullah. “This kind of biryani, which we assume to be around three centuries old, is dum-cooked, not layered, and is a tad bit spicier than the other known variants. It is usually had at Tamil Muslim weddings and the accompaniments, like the chicken 65, yennai kathrikai (brinjal) and bread halwa, are particular to this spread, which is served on a banana leaf,” she adds.
    Rahmathullah specialises in making biryanis over a wood fire. “Observing the undying love for biryani among Chennaiites, at par with the craze for biryani in Hyderabad, the biryani hub of India, we are set to organise another festival, titled ‘50 shades of biryani’,” adds Swaminathan, who expects close to 1,000 people to attend. For those looking for an authentic biryani experience in the city, after the festival ends, she picks Ya Mohideen in Pallavaram, Arcot Biryani in Porur, and Raheems Biryani near DLF Ramapuram.
    March 19-20, at Food Consulate, Velachery. Rs 450 per person. Details: facebook.com/events/488281871362479

    — Lalitha Ranjani

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