All of us have our food cravings. It could be for a simple meal of dal and rice or for something exotic like sushi. But there is one craving that lords over these all. One so intense that you can’t think beyond it, one that surely must be fulfilled.
It is the craving for biriyani—the all-in-one-meal extravaganza! It could be mutton or chicken, Andhra or Mughlai. A plate full of biriyani is sure to make you burp in content. Check out a few of the best places in the city serving this royal fare. Some of these are not for the faint hearted and all of these aren’t exactly vegetarian friendly.
Andhra-style biriyani is probably the popular choice of most people. It’s spicy, flavour ridden and so high on the taste factor that it’s almost surreal. Lots of Andhra restaurants in the city have biriyani on their menu, yet the creams of the crop are Nagarjuna Residency and Amaravathi on Residency Road. Their biriyani is renowned and if you don’t get there early you probably will not get any!
RR Restaurant on Church Street is another hot spot, literally hot. Their biriyani is fabulous but so spicy that you might get teary-eyed through your meal. For something less spicy, head down the street to Bheema’s. Toned down on the spice factor, the biriyani here still retains the Andhra flavour.
The all-time favourite, however, is Nandhini Palace. Scattered all across the city with a home delivery option, this place is the obvious choice when you need to call for a belly full of biriyani.
If it’s not any time close to Eid or you don’t have Muslim friends to invite you over for the best biriyani in the world, head to Hyderabad House in Koramangala for some authentic Muslim biriyani. Also in Koramangala is Lazeez, which serves Lucknow-style biriyani, flavoured with rose water and ghee. A good idea, if you are passing through the area, is to stop at Mezban on Coles Road and pick up some of its biriyani.
If you are willing to brave Johnson Market you will be rewarded with some of the most authentic biriyani in the city. Fanoos, though more popular for its rolls, prepares good biriyani as well. Hotel Khazana, in the Richmond Town area is known as the king of cheap and best biriyani. But note: if you have a weak constitution carefully skirt past these two. They are meant for the hardcore biriyani junkie or the inveterate foodie who does not care much about ambience or the hygiene quotient.
If you happen to be in Indiranagar, check out Begum’s Biriyani on the Thippasandara Main Road. Tucked in the busy market area this place primarily serves as a take-away outlet.
If frontier cuisine biriyani is what you want to sample, be prepared to up your budget by a few notches. Samarkand at Infantry Road dishes up biriyani that is nothing short of divine and the fare at The Royal Afghan at Windsor Manor is cooked on a slow fire and melts the moment you tuck it in.