Great Indian Food Trip – Finding the best Biryani in South India
Road trips in India are turning out to be a blessing these days, all thanks to the superb expressways connecting the the major cities of our country. While we were all set to explore the 4 different states of South India, we were in for a journey full of Biryanis. In continuation to our first article on the Great Indian Food Trip, where we discussed about the route, the team and the experiences from our trip, here we shall be talking about the types of dishes we tried at the different South Indian states. The trip was designed to last for 10 days, visiting 5 different cities to try more than 15 types of Biryani and find out the best from each city. It was very important for us to understand how different was one from the other. While some of them concentrated more on the spices, others ensured that the type of rice, the aroma and the method of preparing it.
The journey started from Hyderabad where we all gathered. The day was spent at leisure and we went out in the evening to try some of the best biryanis from the city. The first place on the list was Shadab Hotel. The biryani served here was flavoursome with saffron coloured rice, good mix of spices and a raita and salan to accompany it.
The next stop in Hyderabad during our hunt was Shahgouse Hotel. Considered to be one of the best places in Hyderabad for authentic Hyderabadi Biryani, this place serves some lip-smacking biryani along with other non-vegetarian preparations. The biryani here was balanced on spices and thus I liked it personally. The staff at the Shahgouse Hotel was kind enough to demonstrate the entire process of how it was made, the way it half-cooked rice was mixed with the chicken and then was given dum for the taste. Loved watching the preparations totally.
Our search for the best Biryani in Hyderabad continued the next day as we moved on the Meridian Cafe and Restaurant in Hyderabad. The Hyderabadi Dum Biryani served there had a mix of spices with long grains of the Basmati Rice. The taste was appealing and we found the chicken chunks to be well cooked. Next in line for the hunt were Cafe Bahar, Bawarchi and New Astoria.
While the Biryanis we had at Cafe Bahar and Bawarchi were good and tasteful, we found the one at New Astoria to be ok. The high point on this food trail in Hyderabad was meeting the foodies from the city who showed us around with lot of love and warmth. A special thanks to Zubair from Hyderabad Food Diaries for taking us to the Ulvacharu for trying the rose milk and the yummy Bamboo Chicken there.
After spending a whole day in Hyderabad hogging onto the various types of Biryani it was time to get the best Biryani from the city packed in our Milton Microwow One Touch Casserole and carry it to our next stop, Bangalore. The Chicken Biryani at Shadab was a clear winner from Hyderabad and we got it packed before heading out to meet our foodie friends in Bangalore. The Milton Microwow One Touch Casserole ensured that the freshness of the food was intact by the time we reached Bangalore in the evening. The Biryani was relished after being heated in the microwave for dinner.
BEST BIRYANI IN HYDERABAD – HOTEL SHADAB
Bangalore had a lot of biryani to offer. While it didn’t have any specialized local flavour for the Biryani, the adjoining areas of the city had influenced the Biryanis present there. The first stop for the day was the Ali Baba Cafe which served the famous Bhatkali Biryani. This was chicken pieces in traditional spicy onion masala and dum cooked with Basmati rice. The biryani was mouth-watering and definitely a tough competitor to its predecessor from Hyderabad. Ali Baba cafe also specialized in Kunafa, a dessert made from cheese, dry fruits and semolina. The Moroccan tea served here at Ali Baba Cafe is definitely not to be missed.
Next up was Frazer Town’s famous outlet, the Chichaba’s Taj. We had heard a lot about this place from our foodie friends at Bangalore and were looking forward to try their Biryani. The Muslim Biryani served here was low on spices, perfect for a non-spicy food lover like me. The chicken was tender and the rice grains were short. Overall it was a good experience to have the chicken biryani at Chichaba’s Taj.
The hunt for the best Biryani continued as we reached Meghana Foods to try their special Keema Biryani and Lollipop Biryani. While the Keema Biryani had minced mutton perfectly blend in the rice and spices, I liked the lollipop Biryani more as it had some delicious Chicken Lollypop pieces hidden in the mound of rice. Nagarjuna Restaurant in Bangalore served us with their special Tarkari Biryani, a veg biryani prepared with fresh vegetables in Andhra style. As Srikanth was the only vegetarian in our gang, he totally enjoyed the Tarkari Biryani at Nagarjuna. This restaurant was majorly inspired by the Andhra Cuisine and had flavors from Andhra Pradesh in all their preparations. The Mamsam Biryani or Mutton Biryani at the Nagarjuna was delicious as it was seasoned Basmati Rice cooked with lamb and Andhra Spices. The biryani was well complimented with the raita and shorba.
Each outlet at Bangalore served us with different flavours, tastes and texture of Biryani. To decide the winner amongst them was a tough call. However, Alibaba Cafe emerged as the winner for the best Biryani in Bangalore for their special Bhatkali Biryani. We got it packed the next day in our Milton Microwow Casseroles and carried it on our trip to Chennai.
BEST BIRYANI IN BANGALORE – ALI BABA CAFE
Milton products on the trip were really helpful as we also got the tea packed from our hotel in Bangalore in our Milton Thermosteel flasks. The Milton Thermosteel helped the tea to stay warm for a good two hours and thus we enjoyed Chai on the highways on our way to Chennai.
On the way to Chennai from Bangalore we stopped at Ambur to try the Ambur Biryani at Star Restaurant. It was good but couldn’t beat the likes from its counterparts at Bangalore.
The day in Chennai started with a beautiful sunrise at the Marina beach, we carried some tea to give the day a good start. Good way to spend some time with yourself. Sit, relax and live in the moment. Chennai surprised us with the variety of Biryanis it served.
Some restaurants here offered very spicy ones while the others had a low tone of spices. The common factor amongst the biryani was the raita and eggplant salan which was served with almost every one of them. Before leaving for the Biryani trail, we got it delivered at the hotel by Fill Belly. The biryani was the authentic Shadi Biryani which is a wood-fire cooked. The first eatery we tried our hands on in Chennai was the Charminar Biryani Centre.
The Biryani we had there was extremely spicy but was loved by all the spicy food lovers from the group. I decided to skip it after a few bites and looked forward for to the next ones. Next, we headed to Kalyan Bhawan to taste the ones served in marriages in Chennai. The Special Chicken 65 Biryani served here at the Kalyan Bhawan was definitely worth the wait (we actually waited for 20 mins before we got the order).
We also tried the egg and mutton biryani here but we loved the special chicken 65 the most. Next up was the Aasifi Biryani house which was an elegant fine-dine place. The interiors of this place were really eye-catching and the food served here was good to eat. The best biryani in Chennai was awarded to Special Chicken 65 Biryani from Kalyan Bhawan. We got it packed the next day in our Milton Microwow Casseroles and carried it all the way to Coimbatore.
BEST BIRYANI IN CHENNAI – KALYAN BHAWAN
On the way to Coimbatore from Chennai we took a detour to Mahabalipuram. This detour was well planned so that we could reach Coimbatore by the evening and explore it the next day. As we were strolling through Mahabalipuram to explore more, the Milton Thermosteel bottles acted as a saviour to quench our thirst with cold water.
The next morning, we decided to head directly to Calicut without eating biryanis at Coimbatore. The difference was that stopped over at two of the best outlets in Coimbatore, got our biryanis packed in the Milton Microwow One Touch Casseroles and enjoyed it on the highway on our Milton Melamine Plates.
The two biryanis we picked from Coimbatore were the Dindigul Mutton from Venu Biryani Center and the Rowther from HMR. The Dindigul was spicy, had short rice grains and a bit tough mutton. The Rowther was good to taste, moderately spicy and was adequately fresh in the Milton One Touch Casseroles. The journey from Coimbatore to Calicut was plateful as we enjoyed the different types of solemnized rice on the highway.
BEST BIRYANI IN COIMBATORE – HMR ROWTHER BIRYANI
Calicut served us with beaches, views, Biryanis and Sulaimani tea. The Malabar Biryani in Calicut came out very differently to us as it was almost colorless and still good to taste. It had almost negligible spices used for color yet was flavoursome. The Rahmath Hotel in Calicut served both the Malabar and Fish Biryanis to enjoy. Being a fish lover, I really enjoyed the fish variant there after having chicken and mutton for so many days.
The Sulaimani Lemon tea at the Rahmath hotel in Calicut is definitely worth trying after your due course. As we were strolling through the city of Calicut to explore more, the Milton Thermosteel bottles acted as a savior to quench our thirst with cold water. The other restaurant we tried at Calicut was the Paragon. One of the oldest hotels in town, the Paragon has been serving in Calicut since 1939. We tried the chicken one there and found it to be tasty. The winner at Calicut was the Chicken Biryani at the Rahmath Hotel.
BEST BIRYANI IN CALICUT – RAHMATH HOTEL
After a 10-day long road-trip through South India, the first leg of the Great Indian Food Trip by Scout My Trip came to an end. With Milton acting as the anchor partner for our astonishing journey, exploring the different cities, hunting for the best biryanis, finding some amazing ones and trying some other stuff , the experience was BIRYANISOME. We look forward to the next leg of this trip and hope that you enjoyed traveling through South India with us on this magical journey.
Have you tried any of the above mentioned Biryanis? Which one is your favorite? Do share your favorite Biryani stories from South India.