This Ramadan, we’re welcoming the festive season with our top biriyani joints in Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru. Most likely, we will be spending iftar hours at these food joints, gorging on delicious kebabs, mouth-watering desserts, and taking in every bit of the aroma that escapes the biriyani ‘handi’. Take a look to see whether your favourite briyani hangout made the cut. By Sujitha Sundaram
We seldom doubt the culinary expertise at an ITC hotel. This Ramadan, take your family to ITC Maurya Sheraton for their special Dum Pukht biryani made with long-grained basmati rice and the fragrant kewra. End your meal with the rose-flavoured Gulab ki Kheer, a dessert made out of reduced milk and garnished with pisatchios and silver leaf.
“I’ve never eaten at Karim’s” said no Delhihite ever. Navigate your way through the crowded by-lanes of Chandni Chowk and Chawri Bazaar where thousands come to offer their prayers at the Jama Masjid. When you reach Karim’s, you’ll find the culinary artists constantly work on their handis, churning out round after round of biriyani and other delicacies for the ever-increasing crowd coming to their doors. Start early or you may have to stand in a long queue. The mutton biriyani, paya and karahi gosht are to die for.
On Pandara Road, Gulati is another biriyani joint you should try if you haven’t yet. Owing to its popularity, it is recommended to reach a little early as no table reservation facility is available. The must haves here are the mutton biryani, butter chicken and the selection of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian kebabs. They also have an extensive lunch buffet for their patrons which is heavy on the stomach but easy on the pocket.
A legendary restaurant and reigning favourite for their slow cooked, succulent chicken biryani, Lucky Hotels and Restuarants is now a household name. An added plus is their wait staff who are courteous, ensure timely service and will even give information and recommendations about other places in Mumbai.
Having opened just 5 months ago, Birista Biryani & Kebabs have carved out a name for themselves serving North Indian and Mughlai fare. They are best known for their Murgh Nawabi biryani, however their Murgh Burrah and Zafrani Phirni are also must-haves on the menu.
Zaffran has 8 outlets across Mumbai, however the one at Crawford Market, CST Area is the most popular. The restaurant here stays open till 3am ensuring that nobody goes to sleep, hungry. The Gosht Biryani and Chicken Biryani are favourites with Mumbaikars, along with the Zaffran e Murg Mussallam, a whole roasted chicken garnished with boiled eggs.
Staying true to their name, they have established an empire of their own with 15 outlets around Bangalore. Because of the variety of delicious biryani, shawarma and kebab preparations, choosing the right dish might be a little difficult. With a 50-year legacy behind them, their chicken biryani and ghee rice continue to deliver on taste and satisfaction. They also stay open till 3am.
The Shivaji Military Hotel in Jayanagar is known for their Donne Biryani, because it is served in palm leaf cups (Donne). Here too, it is highly recommended to arrive early in order to prevent long waiting times to get a table/pick up your order. It has been featured on various television shows that adds to its popularity.
It undoubtedly serves the best Hyderabadi biryani in town; visit the outlet at Residency Road and sink your teeth into their spicy chicken biryani, usually served with onion raita and salad. The portions are excellent, the prices that don’t burn a hole through the pocket.