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My introduction to biryani was done by my parents when they used to take me to Bedouin to savor the biryanis, chaap, tikia, and kebabs. Only a few restaurants were around then, which were affordable with decent air-conditioned dining areas. Since then, the preparation has itself evolved with healthier variants, and to savor our favorite dish can now order from the comfort of our couch. To leverage this natural gastronomy of the Bongs, Haan ‘D’ Biryani is one of the front runners in the cloud kitchen era in the “City of Joy” that delivers healthy indulgence to our doorstep.
On opening up the box of the Special Mutton Biryani, the alluring aroma of saffron hit my nostrils. A running fork through various layers reveals perfectly cooked decent-sized mutton chunks laid on saffron tinged long grain basmati rice. Dum pukht technique was evident from the perfectly moist and tender mutton pieces falling-off-the-bone.
Juices from the meat and spices soaked into the potato keep the trademark of Kolkata intact. Inside De Sarkar’s kitchen, the biryani is prepared with sunflower oil to keep it non-greasy and low-fat. To test this claim, I ate biryani without a spoon, and while washing my hand without soap cannot feel any grease. The biryani comes in a beautiful sealed container with all the information, including ingredients used and nutritional facts.
Hanglaatherium and Manzilat’s are the other options for light biryani in Kolkata.
On the sides, the Chicken Chaap so perfectly complements the biryani. Chicken leg quarters are marinated overnight with cashew paste, poppy seed paste, and char magaz paste and cooked with a melange of spices. The chaap had a distinctive pungent flavor, but it was not due to mustard oil. When asked about it, they did not reveal the secret.
Mutton Shaami Kebab Bhurji is a patty style kabab where coarsely minced mutton combined with chana dal, spices and shallow fried on tawa. The patty is crushed and disintegrated and sauté with onion, chili, and coriander leaves. The preparation reminded me of mutton tikia, which I love so much with roomali roti. However, this bhurji will go perfectly with paratha.
Mutton Chaap is one of the brightest Mughlai culinary jewels from Kolkata. Mutton ribs or chaap are mixed generously in rich and fragrant spices, simmered over the slow flame till the meat is nicely charred and braised, gets a golden caramel color, and tender enough to fall off the bones. And here it is boneless!
There are no ghee traces but the only evidence of oil with a delightful undertone of kewra water. This chaap is the perfect soulmate with biryani or paratha.
Meat Masoor Dal goes back to its origin from the North-Western frontier. The preparation is about slow-cooked mutton simmered with whole spices ina red lentil (masoor dal), gives an interesting fresh flavor. Served with a bowlful of aromatic and steamed short-grain rice (gobindo bhog). Not a rice person myself, I would prefer to enjoy the lentil stew with Indian flatbread.
So what is the story behind the invention of the Haan ‘D’ Biryani?
It is the generation-old recipe originated from the kitchen of De Sarkar as an outcome of experimenting with cooking a low-fat, light biryani for health reasons. But the challenge was to make the ‘healthy’ version as delicious as that of an orthodox biryani. In the present generation, both Indrajit and Abhijit, while taking forward their family legacy, recently Masterchef Gary Mehigan knighted them as the Biryani Brothers.
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