My Favourite Biryani in Bangalore
I love my rice. I search for the plate of perfect pulao/biryani in every city that I venture into, besides scouring the worldwide web for the perfect recipe. While in Mumbai, I used to be treated to Persian Durbar’s sumptuous mutton biryani at my report designer’s place in Reay Road. It made me look forward to visiting his office every 2-3 months. My office at that time was located in Ballard Estate, a block away from the famed Britannia and its equally famous Berry Pulao and Dhansak. The Berry Pulao there used to be our comfort food whenever one of my colleagues and I had a frustrating time in the office. At times, we used to order biryani from Noorani near Haji Ali and also from Jaffer Bhai and Zaffran. On my birthday, I had once served biryani from Food Inn at Lokhandwala and on another occasion, Lucknowi Biryani from Just Biryani at Versova.
I had to cover Kolkata as part of my job and despite my hectic schedule I used to find out some time for grabbing the amazingly aromatic biryani at Zeeshan and Arsalan. In Hyderabad, everyone recommended Paradise biryani and yet I ended up liking the biryani at Bawarchi much more.
I was apprehensive about the food in Bangalore when I shifted here. Like others, I had the misconception that I would get only ‘idli-dosa-sambhar’ here and nothing else. Imagine my delight when contrary to my expectation, I found biryani and kabab shops at every corner. In fact, for the first 3 days till we got our gas connection, we survived entirely on biryanis!
And so, finally, it is in Bangalore that my taste buds discovered their true love (or so I think) after trying biryanis at numerous places (Nagarjuna, Nandhini and the ilk). The dish is called Laham Mandi (Laham for goat meat/lamb) and is served by a small, non-descript restaurant called Ta’am, located off Queen’s Road. It is basically an Arabic dish and is served with a bowl of clear soup, packed with tremendous flavor, and accompanied by two chutneys – one, a tangy tomato-garlic chutney and the other a mint chutney. The Mandi biryani is fragrant rice steamed and cooked with grated vegetables and smothered generously with the soup so that it remains moist. It is very light on the stomach and doesn’t give that ‘I am too stuffed’ feeling. The biryani comes with a huge hunk of goat meat, which I think is the entire raan (leg) of a kid goat. The meat is meltingly tender and gives away effortlessly from the bone when prodded with a fork. One plate of Laham Mandi can easily serve 3 people. Recently, they have introduced a mini Laham Mandi version for the solitary eater.
While I had got used to biryani served with crisp fried onions and a variety of spices, this mild dish came as a pleasant surprise to the senses. Let me leave you with an image of this dish which I borrowed from bangaloresrestaurants.com.
Image courtesy: www.bangaloresrestaurants.com