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Top 11 places to eat Biryani in India

No matter where you are in India, you are never too far away from a sumptuous plate of biryani. If you are a biryani aficionado (who isn’t!) you would know what a plate of fragrant rice cooked with succulent meat and aromatic herbs can do to the senses. Although there is no particular place in India that you could pin point as the birthplace of this tasty rice dish, it is mostly associated with Hyderabadi cuisine of South India, Mughlai cuisine of Delhi and Awadhi cuisine of Lucknow. Each has its unique ingredients, flavours, and styles of cooking. Skyscanner India, have sifted through the chaff to bring you the best biryani India has to offer.

Best places for biryani in Lucknow

Lucknow’s biryani is often referred to as pukki biryani wherein the meat and the rice are cooked separately. Meat is usually seared in fat and is slow cooked with traditional spices and stock till it is tenderised. Rice is simultaneously shallow fried in margarine and is then cooked in meat broth. Later, the meat and the rice are stacked in alternate layers to complete the dish. So, if you are visiting Lucknow, the famous Awadhi flavours await you in the below mentioned places.

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1. Lalla’s Biryani

Lucknow’s biryani is all about perfect seasoning of the rice and a great precision in tenderising and cooking the meat to perfection. Lalla’s Biryani at Chowpattian Chowk, is where you should be heading if you want to lay your hands on a colourful plate of piping hot biryani. Be assured, the smiles post the meal are inevitable. Lallaji, the owner of this food joint, is the driving force behind the success of the flavoursome biryani served here. A meal for two approximately costs 250 INR.

Read more: Top 10 street foods you should not miss in India

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2. Wahid’s Biryani

Located in the Aminabad market area of Lucknow, Wahid’s Biryani is the place to indulge in authentic Awadhi flavours that sing melodiously from the tender chunks of well cooked succulent meat sitting amidst perfectly seasoned rice. Besides the biryani and the complimentary salads, chutneys and raitas, tunday kebabs and seekh kebabs are also some of the other delicacies served here. A meal for two is approximately about 200 INR.

Read more: Top 12 all time favourite Indian Foods

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Best places for biryani in Hyderabad

The much talked about Hyderabadi biryani, unlike its Awadhi counterpart, is made from kachha gosht or raw meat. Also, the meat and the rice are not seared before cooking. The meat is usually marinated in traditional spices for 4-5 hours before it is added to the already heated handi. Over this, the rice with spiced yogurt is added. Now, both the meat and the rice are slow cooked in the juices of the meat that is loaded with spices. Then the handi is sealed with a seal of dough which is known as dum.

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3. Hotel Shadab

One of the oldest and most popular hotels serving authentic Hyderabadi biryani and the famous Hyderabadi haleem is located near Charminar, in the Madina district of Telangana. What this restaurant lacks in ambience, it makes up for with its dishes as it delivers an impeccably royal Hyderabadi cuisine. Besides the paya, shirmal, bheja fry, kheema and gurda bhaji, the chicken and the mutton biryanis are spot on – worth every penny that you spend here. The quantity of biryani is huge and the pieces of meat are generous and very tender. A meal for two costs approximately 850 INR.

Read more: Top 5 must see locations in Telengana

4. Bawarchi

Located at RTC Cross Roads and opposite Sandhya Theatre at Chikkadapalli in Hyderabad, this restaurant gives you chicken and mutton biryanis jam packed with traditional Hyderabadi flavours. Having had the honour of being inaugurated by Bollywood actor Sunil Shetty, this restaurant has been in business since 1994. Bawarchi boasts of a special chicken biryani in which the chicken is deliciously roasted on the outside and is absolutely tender and juicy on the inside. A meal for two costs approximately 600 INR.

Read more: Places to go when you are hungry at 2 in the morning

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Best places for biryani in Mumbai

Bombay or Mumbai’s biryani took its indigenous form here itself. The meat is marinated in basic spices and is further packed with flavours derived from adding coriander, mint, plums, lemon juice and kewra juice – the juice extract of the pandanus flower. Bombay biryani also contains fried potatoes.

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5. Lucky’s Restaurant

Located on SV Road near Bandra Station, this is a place a biryani lover should not miss for anything in the world. Their chicken and mutton biryanis are packed with luscious flavours and are to die for. Other than biryani; paya soup, bheja masala fry and mutton Afghani are also some famous delicacies served here. A meal for two costs about 800 INR.

Read more: 11 Unique Foods in India

6. Persian Durbar

Established in the year 1976 in Byculla East, this restaurant has been serving phenomenal mutton and chicken biryanis that leave a memorable taste in the palate. Their traditional firni must not be missed if you are a dessert person! A meal for two costs approximately 900 INR.

Read more: Top 10 Street foods you should not miss in Mumbai

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Best places for biryani in Delhi

It was in the Mughal era that biryani attained the status of a complex and healthy dish. Queen Mumtaz, the wife of Emperor Shah Jahan, came up with the idea of serving a nutritious diet of both rice and meat to improve the health of undernourished soldiers. Essentially, the name biryani itself contains the word – ‘birian’ which means ‘fried before cooking’ in Persian. The rice, after being washed thoroughly, was fried in butter or ghee before it was cooked in boiling water. This frying added a nutty flavour to the rice and also ensured that the rice grains retained their shape after cooking. The well marinated and spiced up meat was either cooked with the rice or separately. One can say that this was the first, of all kinds of biryani in India.

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7. Nasir Iqbal

Situated in Nizamuddin basti of Delhi, this blue tiled restaurant serves scrumptious mutton biryani that is packed with flavours of green chili, generous chunks of juicy meat and rice. Most of the mughlai biryanis are served in traditional steel brass pots with mirchi ka salan and fresh raita. A meal for two costs approximately 500 INR.

Read more: Top 10 things to do In Delhi

8. Al – Jawahar, Old Delhi

At Al-Jawahar, which is located near Jama Masjid in Old Delhi, biryani is served with mutton korma and raita. And then, there is the firni, the perfect end to a biryani meal – a delicious Mughlai version of tasty rice custard that must be had! A meal for two costs about 700 INR.

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9. Karim:

In the narrow alleys of Old Delhi in Jama Masjid, stands one of the oldest culinary joints of India –Karim. Started in 1913 by Haji Karimuddin, this restaurant serves a lovely Mughlai version of biryani and has been ranked by Time Magazine as one of the best non vegetarian restaurants in Asia. A meal here costs about 800 INR.

Read more: Top 10 spicy dishes of India

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Best places for biryani in Chennai

In 1957, Nagasamy Naidu and his wife invented their own biryani recipe that gave good competition to the other biryanis. Their traditional South Indian biryani had succulent pieces of lamb meat seasoned with black pepper instead of red chili powder. Instead of the regular basmati rice that is usually used in biryani, they used a locally available variety – the seeragasamba rice or, parakkum sittu which has a flavour of its own_. _No wonder the flavours over power you when you visit the Dindigul Thalapakatti restaurant.

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10. Dindigul Thalapakatti

People visiting Chennai should not miss Dindigul Thalapakatti’s biryani for the world. Founded in 1957 by Nagasamy Naidu, this restaurant serves a traditional South Indian biryani with succulent pieces of meat seasoned with black pepper instead of red chili powder. In the initial recipe that was invented by Mr. Naidu, he used a special type of rice available locally in South – the Seeragasamba rice or, Parakkum sittu. This restaurant’s aromatic biryani is bang on and is totally worth the money spent. A meal for two costs approximately 700 INR.

Read more: 8 best desserts of India

Best places for biryani in Kolkata

Kolkata’s biryani derives its flavour from both Mughlai and Awadhi cuisines. The spicy yogurt marinade used for tenderizing meat contains nutmeg, mace, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves. The rice that is cooked separately is flavoured with rose and saffron water for the gorgeous yellow color and the sweet scent. Kolkata’s biryani also contains potatoes like Mumbai’s biryani.

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11. Nizam’s

Kolkata’s biryani recipe is a blend of both Mughlai and Awadhi styles of cooking and has transformed the result into a perfect blend of spices, meat and rice that are without the greasy oil. However, the taste of Kolkata’s biryani is absolutely delicious and is worth coming back for. A meal for two costs about 600 INR.

Read more: 11 foodie delights to be tasted in Kolkata

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