On the Doom’s day, leave thee with a plate of Biriyani and thou shall rest in peace…Yours Truly
With Bongs, the topic of Biriyani is extremely touchy.
It’s almost as if, we didn’t have “rice-ceremony” in our childhood but it was a “biriyani-ceremony“! But that’s how we are. Extremely passionate about things we love, more so about the “Alu” (potato) in the biriyani.
Considering the fact that the real onslaught of biriyani in our Bong food arena, started probably around mid 2000s, we have much surprised ourselves by embracing this as our new “comfort food” quite at a fast pace.
In my school days (till 2002), I was aware of only handful of places and don’t crucify me for my extremely limited exposure till then. 😉
First was a joint called “Bedouin” in Nundi Street (behind Ballygunge AC Maket) in South Kolkata, then Zeeshan near Park Circus, Southern Aminia in Gol Park, the original Aminia at Esplanade and of-course the legendary Shiraz at Mallick Bazar. And no, I didn’t know about the old Arsalan or even other places, probably till late in that decade.
Now with mushrooming of Biriyani joints across the length and breadth of the city, one cannot really escape from the “mass” favorite! 😉
But this intrigued me to discover where did I have the first Biriyani of my life! And I almost had to turn back the pages of my otherwise average life back in time, to find out that exact moment of nirvana! 😀
Let’s wind back to the 90s – 26 years back
Then an average Bong guy’s life will be a monthly or bi-monthly eat-out at a South Indian or Chinese food joint, a yearly vacation to quench our thirst to know the unknown lands. So, it’s almost difficult to believe that we grew up in such simple times.
In 1994, we were taken to our maiden school excursion trips.
We were studying in Class V then. It wasn’t the fancy ones as the Gen-Y has today but for us, it was a great moment of unbridled fun & chaos to spend a whole day outside school, without parents (very important!) and most importantly with our friends.
That year, my alma-mater South Point (yes, I am a Pointer. In fact, most of us in Honumans are Pointers 😀 ) took us to three unique places – Dankuni Mother Dairy factory, then to Nicco Park and finally wrapping up at Belur Math (I really don’t remember the order).
Now don’t laugh at the thought of these places for excursion trips.
It was LEGIT (Yo!Millennial!)! 😀
But who could have imagined that out of all worldly places, it would be the good old Nicco Park’s old food court where I would have my first Biriyani, served as lunch. A 10/11 year mind couldn’t probably understand what’s this new form of “Pulao” was, before being enlightened by his teachers that it’s something called “Biriyani“.
Guess what was the accompaniment? Thums Up! 😀
Vague memories remain about the exact details but now I remember, it had the legendary “Alu” (potato) and with Thums Up, it had a magical effect, something which I couldn’t stop bragging to my parents, once back home.
That precise moment of the day was the holy initiation of a Biriyani lover.
Over the years, my palette has acquired the taste to appreciate different forms of biriyani, starting with our absolute traditional Kolkata Biriyanis to Hyderbadi biriyanis like Paradise and even customized ones like Kareems as well.
So no. Now I am not too touchy about other Biriyani variants not having “Alu” (potato) and probably that’s what helps to enjoy the taste of those Biriyanis too.
But that’s for another day on how I like Paradise or Kareems biriyani.