Biryani is an evergreen classic that really needs no introduction. With local and hyperlocal variations having evolved into distinctive styles of Biryani’s, one is spoilt for options when it comes to experiencing this melting pot of flavours.
Biryani is derived from the Persian word Birian, which means ‘fried before cooking’ and Birinj, the Persian word for rice. While there are multiple theories about how Biryani made its way to India, it is generally accepted that it originated in West Asia.
In general, there are two types the Kutchi (raw) Biryani and the Pukki (cooked) Biryani. In Kutchi Biryani, the meat is layered with raw rice in a handi (a thick bottomed pot) and cooked, while in Pukki Biryani cooked meat and rice are layered in the handi, where they come together in a marriage of flavours.
With many Unique’s to its name, Belagavi has it unique flavors of Briyani served at almost all the hotels and each one has its own unique taste of its own and mostly a bestseller. Not two Biryani’s from different hotels will taste the same. It may not have a name of its own but the blending of creamy milk with roasted nuts and aromatic spices results in a dish that is subtle, refined, and delicately flavored.
When we began the search for the Belagavi Biryani, we came across various restaurants small and big who make lip smacking Biryani in their own style since ages.
Karim & Tinwale were the pioneers of Biryani in the city in a commercial way. Wahab could also be added to that list who used to sell only in bulk.
There are several household which preserve their untraditional recipes, every Belagavite must have come across a Muslim friend who’s mom has sent him Biryani on Eid and she always gets is right. Biryani is not a recipe which can be adapted out of a book but requires experience acquired over years. The amount of saffron, the measures of condiments, the proportion of rice and meat is to be perfected by practice.
They say a good Biryani has few features, the aroma is appetizing, the rice grains do not stick to each other nor to your hands, the meat must absorb all the flavours and should melt in your mouth, it should not leave you bloated after eating.
A unique element in the Belagavi Biryani is the Belgaum Basmati rice, it’s unique flavor is appetizing, sadly the rice is being fast replaced by the Delhi rice.
Each hotel has its unique marination technique and we guess is this must be the important element in the making of the Biryani.
The accompaniment of the Biryani also needs perfection, the chatni and the sherwa are as important as the main dish itself.
What’s adds to the taste of Belgaum Biryani which distinguishes it from the Biryani’s at other places is the taste of Belgaum water which naturally is believed to be tasty comparatively.
We have Different choices in Biryani, some like Mutton Biryani of Khyber(College Road), others prefer the Chicken Biryani of Niyaz or the Prawns Biryani of La Camp(Picket road Camp) or Biryani from Bawarchi (Off College road in the alley after Khyber) or the Zuber’s Biryani (Kaktives).We also have the Bamboo Biryani (High Street, Congress Road) cooked up in a Bamboo. The Hyderabadi Biryani(Congress Road) its a franchisee of the famous Hyderabd Paradise Kitchen.
Vegetarians are not too far away from being Biryani Fans. They too have their own Flavour in Veg Biryani of Saffron or Madhuvan. It all ends up in what one likes to have in which way Spicy, Sweetish, Mild.
Not only the big hotels small eateries as well have their own recipe of the Biryani which is unique to its self. Yeshwant Boarding(Kelkar Bag) makes the Biryani which is more like a Mutton Pulao. There was Mahadev (Kaktives) has its unique taste of its own. The Savji Biryani is another new flavor to the Biryani stable. The marination is unique which gives it a very distinct taste. We also many small Biryani corners which make Biryani.
The Biryani from Charminar(Khade Bazar), or may be from Zuber, Khyber, Paraat wali, Donne, Bawarchi all have a distinct taste and fan following.
The ParatWali Biryani made in Sun n Sand & Habba is also a favorite amongst many which is cooked on the Tava. The Bhori Biryani made by Barafwala which is very mild in flavours but has a very distinct taste of its own due to the spices.
There are also the Home Made Biryani which are made to order only by Tinwala, Shafi Attar, Katal to name a few.
In Belagavi, Biryani is not merely food, it is a bond between friends, it’s a memory for some and an adventure for many, where a lot can happen over coffee, Belagavi is a place where a lot can happen over Biryani as well.