Biryani – the name of this dish more than any other evokes strong memories. In India, everyone has a story that revolves around Biryani and no other dish is as universal as it is local than the Biryani. Also, as a dish a plate of Biryani can sit as beautifully among a plethora of fine dining dishes as it can on a plate sold by a roadside vendor, such is its venerability.
Hence, when I came to know about Biryani by Kilo and the range of Biryanis that they did, it filled with excitement and a bit of trepidation because as I said before it is not easy to please everyone with a Biryani.
The good folks at BBK sent us a bunch of different options (including a veg one, more on that later) and 2 matka phirnis as well.
Though they do many kebabs and curries too but it was a trio of biryanis that I stuck too. Hyderbadi mutton biryani, Lucknowi mutton biryani and in the spirit of Navratra, a kathal biryani.
The Hyderabadi mutton biryani was fantastic. No other word will do it justice. It was robust, full of earthy masala flavours along with perfectly cooked mutton. The spices permeated through every grain of rice and it tasted really really good. The accompaniments were a veg salan that brought the right amount of moisture needed to taste even better.
The Lucknowi biryani was something I was most looking forward to as I make it myself and love the flavourful yet subtle flavours of this biryani. The biryani passed with flying colours. The meat cooked perfectly with a slight tang to it and the rice reminded you of the rich Awadhi flavours and importantly scents of kewra and rosewater, Sublime!. The biryani tasting party I had at my home picked their favourites and each was different which clearly shows that each one was as good as the other.
The vegetarian element of the meal was a surprisngly great kathal biryani. I am of the firm belief that biryani should always be non- vegetarian, but the kathal biryani at BBK surprised me no end. The kathal was not only as well cooked as any mutton piece but little flourished like aloo bhaji in the middle showed that each biryani has been well thought out and balanced in terms of flavour and texture.
We may have disagreed on which Biryani was the best but one consensus was reached that the matka phirni is one of the best that we have had. Creamy, thick and rich though this is not a traditional phirni but I love this exact kind of saffron laced phirni that seems like a real treat. And the best part about a ‘matka’ phirni is the khurchan at the end. The earthy taste and the happiness to discover that there is more even after the last bite makes you feel like a child.
Biryani by Kilo does not put a foot wrong. They get the presentation right; the aanch box is a great idea visually and keeps the biryani at the right temperature but most importantly they get the traditional flavours absolutely spot on. You can bicker till the cows come home as to which region makes the best biryani but at BBK you can choose any biryani blindly and be satiated.