Suppose you are suffering from excessive desire for food, then no need to be ashamed of your gluttony and head to Hanglaatherium for your daily dose of ‘hanglaa-mi’. For my non-Bengali readers, the word ‘hanglaa’ is an informal adjective or slang used in Bangla for a habitual greedy. My association with Hanglaatherium goes back seven years back when I fell in love for the first time with their biryani and pasanda. I never realized until now that I have never documented my feelings about Hanglaatherium.
We all have tried Tandoori Chicken, but one variant of this dish, which became very famous in old Delhi, is Aslam Butter Chicken from the Jama Masjid area. In Kolkata, only a couple of places re-creates this magic. Dilli 6 is one such preparation where chicken grilled inside tandoor tossed with secret spices, sour cream, or maybe hung curd and with an overdose of melted butter—finished with a dash of lime juice and chopped coriander leaves. It is finger-licking good, inspired by a famous old Delhi style street food.
The Great Biryani Co. in Kolkata is another place where you can find a similar preparation known as Aslam Bhai Ka Butter Murgh.
From the old Delhi, let me transport you to the narrow alleys of Karachi for Mutton Bhuna Kabab. Mutton pieces medium well done inside tandoor mixed with a host of spices along with natural tenderizer papaya paste. Perfectly charred edges giving it the rustic feel and subtle smoky flavor go perfectly with my favorite poison.
Another tandoor preparation I tried lately was Chicken Kali Mirch Kabab. Soft melt-in-mouth tikkas seared in tandoor with coarsely grind peppercorns give a burst of flavors. For someone who can control their spice intake will prefer to have more punch of the pepper.
The biryani is a must in the mains, and a greedy gourmet like me will not settle for one.
Mutton Biryani is a delightful combination of chunky mutton pieces with fragrant, long grain basmati rice and aromatic spices, which is irresistible. The rice grains are the long and best quality. The dum pukht technique allows the aromatic juices from the mutton to ooze into the rice and potato. The biryani is prepared with sunflower oil to keep it non-greasy and light. I prefer the meat a little softer. Recently, they have introduced another biryani variant or rather a spicy version of Chicken Tikka Biryani. It’s an amalgamation of two of our favorite preparations: boneless chicken tikka and spicy Hyderabadi biryani together make a delectable one. Not a great lover of spicy biryani, but this one made me change my mind, a perfect balance of the best of both the worlds.
On the side menu, one of the dishes that bring a smile to my face is Chicken Pasanda – prepared from marinated shredded chicken with creamy white gravy. The gravy gets its consistency from caramelized onion, cashew paste, chana dal powder, yogurt, and full cream.
The amount of spices is limited to only ginger-garlic paste and a dash of shah morich (white pepper) and cinnamon. Those who love it a little more spicy can add diced green chili and some chili oil on the top.
The dish derives from the Urdu word ‘pasande,’ meaning ‘favorite’. Legend says it was a popular meat dish among the Mughal courtyards, thus the name “Pasanda.”
Address the epitome of gluttony by their claimed signature dish Mutton Hanglaabari. The preparation is their take on Bengali cult classic kosha mangsho prepared by using closely guarded family old recipes.
The trick of this sauteed meat gravy preparation is patience and accurate measurement of a long list of spices starting from marination till it achieves the desired consistency of the gravy and dark color. Still, the texture of the meat failed to impress me due to its chewiness.
Those who have sworn by Kosha Mangsho at Golbari will not be able to resist themselves to compare these two variants of mutton curry.
In dessert, there is no other option other than Firni. Though the pudding was a decent one I will prefer to see them adding more options in this category.
Must try: Dilli 6, Mutton Bhuna Kabab, Chicken Pasanda and Chicken Tikka Biryani
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