Hyderabad. What comes to your mind? Charminar, Gobind Sagar Lake, Pearls, Biryani? So lets talk about the best biryani joints in Hyderabad!
The sad part is that the words ‘Hyderabadi Biryani’ have been abused to no end and we are now living in a time when one has to struggle to get the real one anywhere. This is supposed to be high of flavor and spice, cooked together on dum (slow flame) with rice – with and almost no gravy. It’s drier than the other Indian versions and extra strong on flavor and spice.
If you really want the authentic version, sadly, it’s not available in any stand-alone restaurant. It’s cooked only by some special ‘catering’ joints – home cooked by Muslim ladies in their kitchens, and served in parties and weddings. You can order them by the Kg (that’s one Kg of rice + 1 Kg of mutton). It’s not only absolutely amazing in taste, but also in texture and you will not ask for anything else if you have had the pleasure of enjoying a plate.
For tourists like us, we only have the restaurants sadly – will list down my most favourite- starting from the number 4 and going to the best … Bon Apetit !
Number 4: Biryani @Hyderabad House in Hyderabad: A chain of restaurants spread across the city – with sad interiors, most of them empty, serving so called traditional biryani in ala-carte and the more modern ‘combo meal’ options. With a large piece of chicken / small mutton pieces, these are well spiced and best for takeaway or to be had in desperate times. Inexpensive – like most of the restaurants here, the servings are large and even 1 adult will find it difficult to finish. Popular with locals
Number 3: Biryani @Paradise in Hyderabad: I used to love this place … now I hate it. But I still go there … a lot. Undoubtedly the restaurant that made biryani synonymous with the city, this is a must-visit in every traveler’s itinerary. And it shows … a huge building with 5 – 6 restaurants – in all variations (Persis – Gold, Silver, Heights etc.), with prices varying depending whether its AC, Seating etc. This serves one of the spiciest biryanis that needs an ant-acid afterwards. Their kormas are nice, so are the kebabs … but it’s the staple biryani that’s sold in thousands of plates every day – no exaggeration. Go anytime, you find a queue … the parking can be a mess … but how many restaurants have a road crossing named after them? The best thing these guys have done is to open a take-away restaurant en-route to the Airport, just after Banjara Hills that you cannot miss. Hundreds of plates are picked up in lovely sealed packaging … further packed in cardboard boxes that can accommodate 2/4 of them and taken in flights across India and to Middle East. They claim it remains okay for 8-10 hours, I can vouch for that. One pack is enough to feed 2 adults or more … but wish they used more mutton. Very spicy anyways, slightly reddish in color, you can actually ask for a spicier version in the restaurant. They have restaurants now at the Hi-tec and Secunderabad
Number 2: Biryani @Bawaarchi in Hyderabad: At RCF Cross Roads, you find this ‘original’ restaurant which claims it has no branches. Quiet dirty, you cross rows of wooden chairs (atleast 50 years old) and pay the owner for a ‘special’ pack of biryani – ‘international packaging’ if you want to take it on a flight. They don’t put onions and eggs then which can spoil the biryani. Very different in taste from Paradise’s, it’s much hotter. I like it more … most people I know, do. Slightly whiter in color than its cousins with the usual huge serving. The restaurant serves excellent kebabs, worth a try if you are there. They have an AC restaurant next door which I have never been to … this has been always takeaway joint for me
Number 1: Biryani @Cafe Bahar in Hyderabd: Two restaurants in Hyderabad … have had the best Bhaeja Fry (brain fry) for snacks ever. The biryani is again very different and fantastic. Reminded me of the Kolkata one’s slightly with the special version coming with 2 pcs of mutton, not one and & with boiled egg. Juicy mutton and high on flavor, it’s not too spicy or hot and just perfect. The location is a little bad but you have who’s who visiting there. Again an option of AC Family and non AC restaurants, its highly recommended.