Feb 2, 2008

Ruminations Of A Proud Biryani Addict.

So here it is. The Hyderabadi Biryani Guide. My friend Abhiram Vissa is a rock-loving political science student, who is nuts about biryani. I invited him to share his biryani chronicles with us.
I'm writing this article on behalf of my friend Madhumita. As she says, no blog on Hyderabad would be complete without an article on Hyd's world famous, and rightly so - biryani. This article cannot do justice to a dish that is simply God's gift to cuisine and as much as I love it, I have never been to all the famous joints in the twin cities due to a lack of time and money, a pity, as it would have been one hell of a culinary adventure.

Before I describe the various biryani hubs of Hyd, one has to appreciate the massive culinary and cultural impact of biryani. Hyderabad has become synonymous with biryani in a way few places in the country or world at large have with any one particular dish or dishes. This impact is simply impossible to quantify.

With that said here goes.

Hyderabad house, Paradise are two of the most overrated hotels when it comes to biryani They’re too expensive and lack the dum flavoring that is easily available in other places. I’m fully aware of the fact that Paradise is almost an institution when it comes to biryani to many Hyderabadis, but it ain't to me, because it simply isn't on the same level as Bawarchi and other places,!

Hyderabad house is lousy. The biryani at Y2K in Panjagutta is the same but fortunately close to it is hotel Al-Shifa which makes awesome Kalyani Biryani at 30 bucks a plate, Garden also has quite good biryani albeit not as good as it once was. Coming back to Bawarchi, it's awesome and I especially loved the mutton biryani. This is one hotel where the biryani has more than lived up to the hype. It might interest folks to check out a hotel called Green Bawarchi in Krishnanagar which is next to Jubilee Hills, here the biryani is 70 bucks one plate but looking at it, it feels like a double, it took me more than an hour to eat it all…hehe.

Mehdipatnam has many excellent hotels and the two that I really enjoy are Prince and Meraj. The latter especially has excellent mutton biryani that made me devour one plate and take another home in a parcel. Also, in Tolichowki, the chicken biryani in hotel Rumaan is well worth a try, guys. Give 4 seasons, and a place called Maks a pass, they are overpriced and overrated .Seafood biryani in Tolichowki is kickass as well. One hotel in particular is Manasaalwma, I'm unsure of the exact spelling, but it's next to Temptations Ice Creams. The prawn biryani defies description. I'm yet to try the lobster(I'm not kidding it really does exist), it's on the pricey side, but trust me guys, it's well worth it..

There's a rule of thumb when it comes to biryani - the more expensive the biryani, the less tasty it is. There are exceptions of course, and Manasaalwma is one of them. Another good place is Blue Oyster in Kothaguda, close to Gachibowli, where the mutton biryani is 135 bucks. Close to road no.10 banjara hills is Hyderabad Kebabs. While the kebabs there are nothing great, the chicken biryani is awesome at just 40 bucks at the time of writing. In closing I'd like to add that Bahar and Shadab are two other places with excellent reputations though sadly I'm yet to eat there. But I certainly will in the near future. Well that's all, these are my opinions, and any other names that anyone can recommend are more than welcome.


  1. Nice post! Well, i love the biryani from 'Grand Hotel' it is one the most delicious biryanis from restaurants in Hyderabad. Otherwise i usually prepare it at home.


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  3. Well, I'm also Biryani and Haleem addict... Nice post!! I too like Bawarchi's a lot and I don't understand why some people overrate Hyderabad House and Paradise. They're just crap...

  4. Aditya5:33 PM

    Bawarchi rocks!!

  5. Anonymous1:33 AM

    4 season mutton biryani was lip smacking! Had it just this Suday. Maybe they've improved since you visited last?

  6. I tried Al-Shafa today based on your recommendation (and my eagerness to try a good biryani here), and I came away floored. Amazing flavor and super value for money - this place is dirty, but the food is awesome. Will definitely go again. The price is now Rs. 40 (Single) and Rs. 60 (Plate), I think the plate is the right sized portion for most folks, but for light eaters the Single is fine.