Yeah, yeah! We know all about Hyderabadi biryani and how no one else can do it like them. But how about we let Hyderabad's biryani joints breathe for a bit, because Bengaluru's taking the baton for now. Not only am I talking about the various kinds of biryani from different cultures that you can experience, these Bengaluru joints have found a way to do them just right in their own manner. If a gluttonous, borderline-suicidal binge-craving is what you're experiencing with your biryani fetish, here's our chosen mother of all biryani lists.
Here are our suggestions for the 9 best biryani types and the joints in Bengaluru you can have them at:
1. Mandya Biryani at Ranganna Military Hotel
Here's the style that gets as Kannada as biryani can. Indigenous to smaller eating joints and military hotels in Karnataka, this Gowda style of biryani (or donne biryani) is a prime example of a traditional South Indian style. Steamed rice and meat, with green chillies and a few 'secret' spices, and you get one of the most delicious biryanis your taste buds will ever experience.
2. Kolkata Biryani at Arsalan
No Bengalurean would stand against Arsalan and their appetite-expanding menu. The folks at Arsalan make their special Kolkata-style biryani like no other. Low on the spice factor, fragrant and flavourful, this biryani comes along with meat, usually, alongside egg and potato. While Bengali folk like to have this biryani without any sides, down south they like it with a bit of gravy.
3. Ambur Biryani at Ambur Star Biriyani
Fairly new to the Bengaluru circuit, their version of this north Indian style biryani is catching on like wildfire. Slightly spicy and usually had with raita and a brinjal curry, Bengalureans are in love with this style. Enough, for their to be an Ambur biryani joint everywhere you turn, although we suggest you head over to the pros at Ambur Star Biryani. Similar to the 'dum' style, it is predominantly non-vegetarian.
4. Thalassery Biryani at Hotel Empire
Now, this traditional Kerala-style biryani is unlike what you might be familiar with. Cooked with a special kind of rice, this biryani is a product of mixed influences of Arab and Mughal origins, part of the popular moplah cuisine. Balanced in its spice, the biryani is flavourful and elegant. We don't have an exact number on the different spices that go in, because that's just how the secretive biryani mafia roll.
5. Andhra Biryani at Bon South
It just so happens that this style of biryani, although known as Andhra style, resonates more with Bengaluru than anywhere else. Vouched for even by its Hyderabad and Vizag counterparts, Bon South's Andhra biryani is one for the hall of fame. Chow down this spicy dish with a side of raita, and you're golden. Plus, you have the option of meat, fish and prawn, it all works.
6. Kolhapuri Biryani at Suryawanshi Restaurant
Why go to Bengaluru for Kolhapuri biryani you ask? Well, why does a dog lick his balls? 'Cause no one else does it better. The folks at Suryawanshi have got this recipe down to a T, and the spicy chopped mutton gravy that it's accompanied with is the best gastronomical experience you'll get this side. 'Nuff said.
7. Punjabi Biryani at Samarkand
In this case, it would be best to stray away from comparing the traditional biryanis served at dhabas up north, the Smarkand version of the Punjabi biryani has got its own charm. Closer to a pulao than biryani, the dish is a great mix of vegetables and meat. Raita is the way to go with this dish, with a side of copped onions.
8. Lucknowi Handi Biryani at Srinathji
Famous for its truckload of different spices, and synonymous with the North Indian rustic style of it, Srinathji's Lucknowi biryani is the stuff of legend. Traditionally, each house has its own secret set of ingredients and style that account for the final dish, and Srinathji seems to be doing something right. This one doesn't really need an accompaniment, but a mildly spicy gravy would do just fine.
9. Dum Biryani at Mani’s Dum Biryani
Mani's Dum Biryani is special in the fact that the joint cooks the biryani in small batches in order to not compromise the flavour of the dish. Very close to the Ambur style of biryani, this dum version is packed with an immense amount of flavour and spice. Plus, the Bengalureans have a special gravy that they like enjoying this dish with.
If you're out on the streets of Bengaluru with a biryani craving, we claim that you've found yourself in the perfect spot. Come back to the list for reference and chow down to glory. May the force be with your stomach lining!