Biryani is Love ❤ !!
The humble biryani is a meal in itself. Those long-grained rice, slowly cooked with tender meat and spices, give an aroma like none other. Kolkata’s Biryani is different from the rest of India. The spices are aromatic; there is an addition of boiled potato and egg to the dish, which is not found elsewhere.
The early Nawabs used to have Khansamas and Nakhabdars for preparing food in their kingdom. The Nakhabdars used to prepare food only for the Nawab and his family, whereas the Khansamas used to prepare for guests and courtesans. Running short of meat or facing difficulty in preparing meat in large quantity, the Khansamas added potato and egg to the Biryani to keep up the supply. It was very well accepted and soon it became a local favorite. This emancipated as Kolkata Biryani.
There are a galore of places that serve Biryani in Kolkata. But some of them beat the rest and serve the authentic, legendary, flavorful Biryani. Here’s my take on the Best Biryani restaurants in Kolkata.
Kabuliwala, Kolkata – Delivery Only (Various Outlets)
Being a Delivery-only outlet, Kabuliwala has gained a brand image in the minds of Biryani Lovers. The number of deliveries have increased in the past year and now there are 3-4 delivery joints across the city. The aesthetic packaging (they serve your favorite biryani in a zip pouch), also retains the aroma and flavors of its contents. With Kabuliwala, it has become easier to get Biryani in the comforts of your home.
Santa’s Fantasea, Sector 1, Salt Lake, Kolkata
Location Map: https://goo.gl/maps/xV6oJQKAEZvhZfRV9
This is a Seafood restaurant. Why has this been placed on this list? Is because they offer the Tribal Bamboo Biryani, the traditional dish of Andhra Pradesh (it is locally known as Bongulo Biryani). The biryani is prepared inside a bamboo shoot and cooked slowly over charcoal. The bamboo shoot locks the flavors inside and is served hot on your plate. The tender meat is too good to handle. There is no oil used in this preparation and can be considered as a healthier version of the Biryani. Santa’s Fantasea was the first one to introduce Bamboo Biryani in Kolkata (now many others are offering the same).
India Restaurant, Kidderpore, Kolkata
Location Map: https://goo.gl/maps/yw8sKdyWJAtTQAKW8
One of the most revered and beloved Biryani outlets in town, India restaurant is a must try. The first (or maybe second) name that pops up in mind when you ask a Calcuttan about their favorite biryani place. The kebabs here are droolworthy as well.
Dum Pukht, ITC Hotel, JBS Haldane Avenue, Kolkata
Location Map: https://goo.gl/maps/JGmV7AyfrEwZudwa9
A bit of lavish biryani dining experience here. Dum Pukht is an Awadhi-themed restaurant from the stable of ITC Hotels. Its a luxurious fine-dining restaurant serving excellent aromatic biryani. Although it is not cooked slowly as others are, but the rice was terrific in taste and complemented the meat pretty well. It is a much pricier option than its counterparts listed here, but since the list speaks about best biryani joints, then Dum Pukht surely makes the cut. Here too, the kebabs are ridiculously great and extremely tender. Coupled with excellent service and ambiance, it is a dining experience to cherish.
Oudh 1590, Salt Lake, Kolkata
Oudh 1590, Desapriya Park, Kolkata
Another Awadhi themed restaurant, Oudh 1590 conjoins the flavors of Awadh with its eccentric decor. The interiors are done exceptionally well in an artistic fashion. There are paintings of courtesans, ornate lighting and wooden carved tables and chairs. The warmth of the interiors is complemented with the azure of the humble Biryani. The smell will get you as soon as the lid of the ceramic bowl is opened. The biryani and interiors will make a fabulous combination, which is seldom found elsewhere. Try out their Jheenga Biryani for something different from the regular chicken and mutton versions.
Kareem’s, Sector 5, Salt Lake, Kolkata
Location Map: https://goo.gl/maps/fa7z99BpoUScdr476
A 100 year old brand name, from the streets of Jama Masjid, Delhi, Kareem’s opened its doors in Kolkata with 2 franchises. The one in Sector 5 of Salt Lake has a lavish seating arrangement. It is famous for kebabs and of course, biryani. The flavorful spices are cooked to perfection on kebabs. Once you are off the kebabs, the brilliant biryani will nail you further. The taste of the biryani will linger for a long time to come. The aroma of a slow cooked biryani is distinct and unique.
Arsalan sells the highest number of biryani plates in the city probably. If I am not wrong, there are 7-8 Arsalans in the city with huge seating spaces and catering units. They also offer cut meats and kebabs, which sell like hot cakes. Everything that Arsalan makes, is pure gold. The Biryani meat is absolutely fantastic, very tender and soft. The service is fast and the prices are reasonable as well. More importantly, the locations are perfect, like the one in Park Circus and Ruby crossing on EM Byepass. The restaurants are always filled to the brim and even the delivery counters are buzzing with activity. Such is the name and fame of Arsalan. Take a poll about best biryani in Kolkata, and you are bound to find the name of Arsalan on the top spot.
Royal Indian Hotel Pvt. Ltd., Chitpur, Kolkata
Location Map: https://goo.gl/maps/4PPDttU4gvEFAWuZ8
Another legacy restaurant, the owner hails from the real Nakhabdars of Nawab Wazid Ali Shah. The same taste, with extravagant spices and non-greasy rice, has continued over generations. Royal Indian Hotel’s legacy is unparalleled and the taste is equally unmissable. Such is the confidence here, that till late 2018, potato was not added to the Biryani. Still it was thronged upon. But succumbing to the peer pressure or demands, they started adding potato and egg to its flavorful biryani.
Dada Boudi Restaurant, Barrackpore, Kolkata
Location Map: https://goo.gl/maps/2J4c4qkjx1iHjpFu5
Talking about no-frills attached, a street side restaurant has taken by wave, the Biryani scene in Kolkata. Dada Boudi hotel, is a very low-profile restaurant in Barrackpore, that people swear to. There is always a bee-line of enthusiasts and customers who would wait for their helping of the biryani. It is very popular in its locality and customers from all over Kolkata flock this place to get a taste of delicious biryani. The original outlet is ideal for takeaway whereas their popularity has led them to open up an air-conditioned restaurant just a few metres away and another one in Sodepur, Kolkata.
The Kolkata Biryani is something to cherish. One full meal in itself, the scene here in the City of Joy is mesmerizing. The aroma is one that no one can miss. Tingle your taste buds with the best of the best biryanis in Kolkata.
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I have chalked up a list on Google as well. Do check it out