Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Where do I get the Best Biryani here?

A trip to Hyderabad turned out to be in the cards. It was for work of course. But my ulterior motive was to chase the answer to the question- Where do I get the best Biryani here? Well I had only 5 hours post work to find the answer. Luckily my site visit got me to the fabulous Paradise Resturant. It was 2 in the afternoon, I was starving and Paradise beckoned me. My partner in crime Rinkoo was starving as well and wanted me to be done taking measurements. We had both heard from our friends that Paradise was a must try. In fact I had 'to go' orders from office folks. They apparently specially pack their biryani and mail it around the world. Wow! 

Paradise was huge- 5 storeyed restaurant with indoor, outdoor, terrace area for seating. The interiors were simple and clean. Not over the top. The moment you stepped in you were swept in with the smell of biryani.  Our waiter quickly pointed at the Mutton biryani with a smile on his face. Aha! mutton biryani it is. We ordered some chicken tikkas with the biryani. The tikkas were perfect- soft, melt in your mouth. Followed by our mutton biryani. I made Rinkoo suffer as I took endless pictures of the biryani. The smell was blissful and delicate. Every grain of rice was coated with gentle spices. The mutton pieces were tender and tantalizing. I heard music in my head as I ate the biryani. I was happy. The 3am wake up call, run to the airport and almost missing my flight was all worth it. In fact I am glad I did not miss my flight and got a chance to taste this incredible biryani.
Rinkoo- patiently waiting as I clicked photos
Fresh Pineapple juice- perfect
So good!
The waiter showing us how he places the orders on his cellphone and it wirelessly reaches the kitchen thus saving paper.
Clearly satisfied!
So the search did not end here. I was specially told to make sure that I try some real Hyderabadi biryani in the Char Minar area. To ask the important question- Where will I find good biryani here? My quest led me to the beautiful Char Minar of Hyderabad and the market place surrounding this monument. This place was alive and vibrant. I photographed a Falooda wala prepare a glass of sinful Falooda in a few seconds and got carried away buying 9 sets of bangles (who does that)!
I walked around the marketplace. I let it all sink in. The bright lights, the various shops, bangles, slippers, clothes, pearls, cyclewalas, rickshawwalas, some cars, vendors, ice cream and of course food. My quest finally led me to a place called Shahbad.So I ordered  chicken biryani. I had a bite. It was beautiful. It was subtle, different spice in every morsel. It was very very subtle. It was drier, lighter, easy to eat. It was also very good. It was surprisingly very different from the biryani at Paradise.

Below are some pictures of my quick tour of Hyderabad. A charming city. I loved this city of the Nawab- its Char Minar, the its colorful marketplace and the Hyderabadi biryani. A day well spent. For a day trip I think I did well.

The owner of the Farasha Falooda

 Finally at Shahbad-


  1. Wonderful post Curry Spice! Finally I got to see the famous Paradise Biryani!

  2. Hey thanks guys!
    Slogan- the lighting in the space was so green the pic does not look right and then dad ate it all up at home before i could pull the camera out. Ha! So its in my mind...

  3. Hi Jyotika, it was great to meet you the other day. Love the colours in your pictures.

  4. Hello Jyothika! Awesome pictures! I'm glad you enjoyed the time you spent in Hyderabad :) Thank you for sharing your experiences!

  5. Hey Madhu,
    Thank you for visiting my blog. Hyderabad is a beautiful city. A day by no means does justice. I love your photos. very inspiring!

  6. Why is the Falooda purple? Tapioca pearls? I'm extremely partial to kachhi Biryani...ever had it?

    Loved looking at the pictures, brought out the essence of the city.

  7. its rose sherbat... that made it pinkish.. kachchi biryani as in from Kuctch... (western side). Not sure if I've had that... and thanks

  8. I saw your comment on Mumbai Paused and was intrigued by the name Curry Spice and what do I find when I click on it? Just the blog I was searching for a complete food blog. YUM, YUM. I am sure I will enjoy my visits to this blog.

  9. Hey Shilpi
    I look forward to your visits...

  10. Wonderful post.The way you described the Biryani had me craving for one, and I love the photos you took.I dream of visiting this place someday :)

  11. I managed to investigate a bit more and figured out that the paradise biryani was actually touristy and over-rated as the locals said...lovely city otherwise though

  12. Paradise is certainly one of the best in the genteel part of town, but for real biryana go to the restaurants near charminar or abids, ask a local on the best one (i think it was firdos or something) where you go up a filthy set of stairs to the mezzanine level and sit crosslegged on greasy mattresses in a steamy hot smokey room.

    below at the entrance is an neverending pot of paya which keeps getting fed animal refuse and what not. it must have been going since years.

    vegetarian options are limited and the dates heavenly.

    btw, the faluda in most of the laris in hyd has blotting paper not malai, as i can personally attest.

    and do not miss out on the 'famous icecream' in the shade of the Clock Tower at the Mozzamjahi Market in Abids

  13. Hi guys - I was in Hyderabad only for a day in which I had Paradise as well as Shadab biryani. I certainly enjoyed Shadab more. Well.. I am so looking forward to another trip there and explore more of the cuisine and ofcourse my favourite tomato pickle :)