Calcutta is THE mecca for biryani lovers. There are branded biryani joints (some of them discussed here) and then there are those lone warriors in this segment, who, over the time, has stood up to their forte. In this, series, I would love to highlight those Biryani joints who, though non-branded and non-hyped, are loved by mass…..
Firstly, let’s visit Calcutta outskirts – a place called Barrackpore. Its around 1 hours drive from Calcutta, but considering the road and driving condition, its always advisable to catch a train from Sealdah and reach there. Step out of the station and you can find the famous Dada Boudir Hotel just outside the station. It has got his fair share of fame for its huge portion size of Biryani rice and equally huge portion of meat and potato (yes, potato is an integral part of Calcutta Biryani- period).
But, here the waiting time was around 1 hour and we were hungry, so we moved on to another nearby place, D Bapi Biryani. The local people assured that this one is the upcoming star in the Biryani scenaio in Barrackpore. Its little far from station and situated at the crossing of Kalyani highway and Barrackpore main road towards Nilgunj.
Please do not expect any fancy outlet or seating arangement here. but what you can expect is honest biryani with equally huge pieces (i don’t know frankly how they manage the pricing in that) and freshly prepared stuff. The local people, as I was told, prefer this one nowadays over the famed one…. And they were right in their selection. The biryani is slightly spicy and moist in nature (or gila cut is the standard feature here) but that adds to the taste, at least in this case. Its prepared just in the adjacent area of the outlet and dust from the road probably enhanced its taste IMO. There is a proper seating area (non-AC) inside but we preferred to take the parcel…
Final verdict: honest, hot and spicy Biryani, huge size of potato and meat. One portion is enough for 2 souls (provided you take one extra meat piece)
Enjoyed ? Now, let’s come down to Calcutta and that to south Calcutta. Have you been to Hazra more recently ? One outlet has popped up silently and made its mark. Just like some young kids have the brain and maturity for achieving great deeds, so is the case with this joint. If one walks down towards chetla from hazra crossing, take the first left lane (heading towards kalighat temple, before the one adjacent to the fire brigade office). On the crossing of the road, you can find lots of bikes standing in front of a shabby looking shop. Please put your inhibition aside and walk in. Welcome to Khaza Biryani Center.
God knows the reason for the strange name, but they make a good biryani and the best part is, they provide half plate. It contains one small piece of potato, one almost boneless piece of meat and sufficient rice for one moderately hungry soul. The pricing is extremely justified, and probably, this is the reason why this place is always throbbing with regular college goers and office goers. Biryani is again on the spicier side and subtlety should not be expected. The word hygiene should not be uttered here, but who would suspect a freshly prepared Biryani handi ? The aroma of meat is killer and thankfully, they use less amount of keora water.
The third joint is again in south Calcutta. In fact it has been a new entrant in Calcutta biryani scenario but has made its mark here. Hanglatherium. It has got its name in the right places. I visited its Prince Anwar Shah Road outlet and this review is for it only. Its a little hard to find the place, but once you settle in, you realize that its one homely outlet with potentials of becoming a big brand someday. While one goes towards lord’s crossing from south city, this joint is tucked in the right hand alley, behind sanghati club playground. Parking space is normally available and should not be a problem.
Regarding the food, go no further and order for their Biryani combo- its killer. In 260/- per head, they serve 1 portion mutton biryani, 2 pcs chicken kosha (pretty good in taste), 2 pcs chicken tikka (juicy and moist), salad and mint chutney. The biryani definitely has the chance of improvement, but rest makes up for it. This place is prefect for a small team meeting/ college goers…..
Lastly, I would like to mention 2 places where Calcutta styled Biryani is pretty famous, but the actual taste is in their other variants.
Firstly, Arsalan Rippon St. Everybody knows them for making great biryani, but I beg to differ (don’t kill me please for this….. ). They have a damn good kebab selection, in fact, their Chicken Arsalan Kebab (chicken reshmi tikka coated with cheese and egg) is among the bests in the city, but the subtlety is definitely lost in the Calcutta Biryani. But, please don’t worry. They make something named Hyderabadi Biryani. For 175/-, whatever they serve, may not tally exactly with hyderabadi biryani, but is heavenly in taste and who cares for authenticity when a smoking hot plate is served in front of you with 2 big chunks of meat. I forget everything normally and just gorge in. Let the rest of the world go to hell, long live Arsalan. The biryani is spicy, no doubt. But, I love spice, at least in food. Paired with one portion of Chicken Arsalan Kebab as starter, one portion of this thing can easily make 2 hungry souls happy.
The last one of this series in Aminia Jessore Road. Its just beside the Diamond Plaza, Jessore Road. This place offers a lot of things, but once we settled in, probably the server liked our face and suggested us to go for Mutton Hyderabadi Biryani (again)….. Now, I always try to listen to the server’s suggestions and in most of the cases, they’ve saved me. Same was here. His reason was, we would get 2 pcs of meat with raita free of cost, but what we got was an authentic (well almost…) portion of hyderabadi biryani. It was spicy, yet subtle. With long rice grains and soft meat, it just made our day.
So, I am venturing for more non-hyped biryani joints… and hopefully, soon I’ll be ready with the next part. Please suggest for any joints which should be mentioned.
Comments and critics- most welcome.
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