This blogpost is about Hanglaatherium- a strange place, which is famous for an item- let’s say A, but a few other items like B, C, and D are top-notch. “But why such the hell, a strange opening line?” Over my short tenure in blogging, I’ve learned a few things. Firstly, my good food may not match with another person’s definition of good food and vice versa. So, whatever I write here, is from my experience and based on my taste bud- it may or may not match with yours.
Hanglaatheirum was started in 2012 as a hole in the wall. But gradually the demand increased and they’ve shifted to a larger space now. Parking is slightly difficult, as it is tucked inside a narrow lane. It’s very near to South City mall, on the opposite side and is pretty accessible via public transport. The interior of Hanglaatherium is minimalistic and with some interesting cartoons and punchlines. There is a large window and getting the seat there ensures a good Instagram-worthy shot. the management is hard-core Bengali, so some modern Bengali anecdote is inevitable, but it’s quite enjoyable.
Now the Biryani …
Now, let me come to the food. Hanglaatherium is famous for its Biryani. In fact, forget about Hanglaatherium, we Bengalis are a Biryani-crazy community. We love biryani even in our sleep and most of us crave a Good piping hot biryani after even a lovemaking session. After all, energies need to be restored. And these guys are named quite highly for providing a decent quality, by many people.
The good part about the Biryani in Hanglaatherium is, that it’s non-greasy and even can be called a diet Biryani. Sunflower oil is used with a healthy sprinkling if Jharna Ghee on top, just before the sealing of deg. Mutton pieces are of good quality (with slightly less amount of fat as per my personal liking) and moderately sized. But then, you can’t serve a better meat piece in that price range. Interestingly, there are a few interestingly priced biryani combos, that makes life easier for a lone-diner. A glass of Burhani is suggested to cleanse up the palate.
But personally, I feel otherwise. The biryani at Hanglaatherium is definitely good, but not something outstanding. I know, I am biased towards a few biryani joints in Kolkata and not many come in that list, but what I look for, is an X-Factor. And it’s the difference between you can say, the writing of Syed Mujtaba Ali and Sanjeeb Chattopadhyay. For somebody who’s read them, they will understand this statement. While both are good, but brilliance comes to a few. But luckily, the owner is a personal friend and when he cooks for us at his home, that is way superior and one of the best that I’ve had in my life.
But nowadays whenever I go to Hanglaatherium, I tend to avoid the biryani and rather have this dish, which they call Dilli 6. Somebody who’s tasted the famous Aslam Butter chicken at Delhi will relate to it here. this is the underrated king here. Let me try to describe the dish. If you have Tandoori Chicken (minus the food color) and give it a generous rub with curd, mint (maybe) and tons of white butter, that’ll be it.
The texture is fantastic- smooth with that insane buttering and with that loving touch of a sour taste. I tend to use my fingers shamelessly while eating this item and even lick the fingers clean after I’m finished (and I’m known to have trained fat fingers). One naan comes complementary with the item, which I use to wipe my plate clean. Let me again repeat, this dish is pure brilliance and should not be missed. On the flip side, for a glutton like me, one full portion serves as a complete meal.
The second dish that I personally love at Hanglaatherium is their chicken Pasanda. The owner Sunando claims to have learned it from some secret hidden gem and is not really kin to tell me the source, but having this one with a pudina parantha is a different experience. It’s basically shredded chicken in a thick bland white paste. Hanglaatherium uses crushed Split Bengal Gram for the consistency (or so I am told) ending in a coarse gravy, which elevates the dish to the next level. Some split green chilies are led on top unnecessarily, but then, few people like their food unnecessarily spicy …
A word of caution, the beauty of this dish is its blandness and if you want to experience that, please DO NOT have it after some spicy dish. But as I am getting old, senses are getting lost. And once I’ve had it after some Murgh Kali Mirch kebab at Hanglaatherium. The kebab was juicy and decent, but what it did brilliantly was, it killed my palate for the subtle beauty. So, please order wisely.
The mutton dishes
A dish strangely named at Mutton Hanglabari is has gained its popularity at Hanglaatherium. It’s a secret recipe from Sunando’s grandmother and he guards it like anything. It’s more like a Kosha Mangsho, mutton cooked over a slow flame for hours, but the marination is different. Now, I am not very sure whether I could figure out some crushed bay leaf, but a heavy dose of onion ensured some sweetness. Mutton is super tender and it’s a good combo with their Basanti Pulao.
But their hidden dish is Mutton Bhuna Kebab. Imagine semi boiled boneless mutton shallow fried on a griddle with onion, green Chillies, and chopped coriander. Waiting to be perfectly paired with Old Monk rum, this is a gem. Personally, I always like it tossed with some ginger finely sliced or sliced green chilies, but on its own also, it’s very good. Definitely recommended from my side.
Please end the meal with this strange mocktail named Fire and Ice, if you like the ending to be spicy. It’s a sweet aerated drink with lemon and chopped green chilly. If you sip this and not use a straw, be careful while having your afternoon kiss afterward. He/ she will find your lips quite spicy.
Overall, Hanglaatherium is quite a not-so-hidden-gem tucked in the alleys of South Kolkata and it definitely has some tricks up its sleeve. Sunandoand Piyali is very good friends and might like to kill me after reading this post, but that’s what friends are for.
Have you been there? What are the dishes you like? Do let me know in the comments section. goodbye till then …
Bon appetite !!!
Comments and critics welcome.