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Biryani at Meghna, Bangalore

The air inside the restaurant is intense with the aroma of piping hot biryani’s being carried to the various tables by the stewards….its just mouth watering…and you can feel the hunger pangs growing. It is definitely the best biryani that I have had till now. The quantity is substantial, the spices are rich and the meat pieces are cooked to perfection….I mean they couldn’t have got it any better.

The biryani is quite spicy and gulping down glasses of water only tends to elevate the burning sensation on your tongue….and while I’m a spicy food lover even I have had to ask them to tone it down on several occasions…..the problem is that one cannot just turn the plate away and you tend to finish off the entire bowl of biryani and then comes the guilt feeling of having over eaten.

I was a regular visitor to this joint in Koramangala, Bangalore for over 3 years and never did I ever get tired of going to the same place for the same food….I guess we (the office guys) had a frequency of at least thrice a week. Over time we learnt that it was better to share the meals such that we had just enough quantity to whet our appetites. So, with three of us going out for a meal it would be good enough to order for two portions of biryani and share the meals.

The biryani comes with a bowl of korma curry and a bowl of raita (curd mixed with chopped onions) which adds greatly to the flavor and taste of the biryani. On one occasion had the opportunity to meet the owner and complemented him of the great food that he has to offer.

His formula has been to be very consistent on the quality of the food that he has been serving for the last decade or so….he has never compromised on the quality of the spices, rice or the freshness of the meat. He claims that he has been tempted quite a few times by his vendors to downgrade some of the ingredients to compensate for the inflation. But he has been able to do away with the temptation and has increased the prices to ensure that the quality is maintained. And this approach has been well accepted by his customers who at peak hours wait in queue for 10-15 minutes to get a table.

It is said that a true Hydrabadi biryani is a mutton biryani with each single rice grain standing apart (not sticking to each other) and with the right amount of spices and saffron mixed with meat that is ready of fall off the bones and yet is pink on the inside. The chicken biryani is considered to be the poor mans biryani.

There are a few things about Hyderabadi biryani that make people go crazy. One thing that people always comment on is how every grain of rice seems to be imbued with so much meat flavor. This apparently is the result of the cooking technique. Unlike most other varieties where the meat is cooked first, in Hyderabadi biryani you cook the raw marinated meat and par-cooked rice together so as the meat is cooking, the juices release themselves into the still absorbent rice.

Biryani is said to have been derived from the Persian word Birian which in Farsi means ‘Fried before Cooking’ but the Hyderabad Biryani does not adhere to the process as here neither the meat, nor the rice are fried before cooking. They say that biryani is simple to make, but requires a lot of experience. The variables are complicated such as amounts, moisture of yogurt mixture and marinate, and cut of meats and all of them have to be carefully balanced so everything will cook together and come out perfectly. Whilst writing this post and doing a bit of research I found out that there are over 15 types of biryani’s in India and about 10 varieties of the same dish in other countries….check out for an interesting read.

The menu at Meghna is nothing very elaborate and contains few items besides starters and curries but I think it is the biryani that is definitely the best seller and I have rarely seen any other dish being ordered by the customers. It’s a quick 7 minute service from the time the food has been ordered and the steward keeps checking the table and literally moves in a flash to refill your plate and as soon as the food is finished the bill is on the table. So you’re in and out in just about 20 minutes.

The place is quite clean and hygienic and without doubt serves much better biryani’s than any of the other Andhra joints in Bangalore…its worth a visit and is a sure value for money. I believe that they have other branches in Bangalore in Jayanagar and Residency road….you may Google for the location.

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