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The eternal debate about the supremacy of Kolkata and Hyderabadi biryani became unrestrained with the introduction of Paradise Biryani in Kolkata. A humble beginning way back in 1953 in Secunderabad, this global chain began as a little canteen in a cinema theatre named Paradise. Today they run as 30 locations across India. The claimed ‘World’s Favourite Biryani’ attempts to introduce the true essence of Nizami platters and grills.
Paradise Biryani is a Limca Book of Records holder that has dished out over 7 million servings. This number has recently shot up to 9 million. It is a brave decision by Paradise Biryani to venture in Kolkata. The city dwellers have die-hard following towards Lucknowi and Kolkata biryanis. I am not going into the origin and history of biryani – a beaten to death topic.
In Nizami Mutton Biryani oozes, the authentic Nizami flavors are in the preparation, are not fiery but well-spiced. The chunky four meat pieces fell off the bone. The aroma of ghee and saffron gives an enticing mouthful feeling. The Special Chicken Biryani is meaty enough with four large chicken drumsticks. The same flavor as the mutton biryani.
The rice quality is supreme long-grained basmati and best in class meat quality. Add on to this mirchi ka salan if you want to spice up the rice, or tone it down with dahi ki chutney (raita). The quantity is enormous and can feed at least two, high appetite souls.
Before you wonder, yes, this is kacchi biryani. Spices laden marinated meat will be at the bottom of the layer. The finest saffron rice sits on the top and the exotic masala rice in the middle.
Paradise Biryani promises to spoil one with a variety of kebabs. An excellent portion of each platter with eight pieces. Kebabs are slow roasted with Nizami spices to let the flavors seep inside the meat.
Chicken Garlic Kebab marinated in a generous amount of garlic and seasoning. Love the mildly roasted garlic flakes on the top. The secret of the extra moisture and juiciness lies with the duration of the marination of chicken breast pieces in yogurt. Garlic lovers like me are guaranteed to enjoy this.
Chettinadu Murg Kebab is a traditional delicacy of South Indian cuisine. The amalgamation of authentic southern spices grilled to perfection with tender chicken. The kebab is not fiery but will have a burst of piquancy with each bite.
The dessert section does not give much of an option. Double Ka Meetha is a traditional recipe prepared on the day of Eid. Bread or pav is known as double roti in a few Indian states. Hence the name means a sweet dish made from bread. It is made using bread slices and reduced milk and loaded with dry fruits for a delicious crunch.
In Paradise Biryani, I found this preparation is hugely disappointing. The thick saffron color milk bread soaked in bread and almost no traces of any dry fruits. Slices of bread are so soggy like a mashed potato. The level of sweetness is practically non-existent.
When Nawabs of Oudh and Nizams of Hyderabad could not conclude whose creation is the best, who are we to fight over this. To me, the subtle flavor of Awadhi occupies a lion share in my heart compared to the spicy variant of south down under.
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