Home can be far away but still close to our hearts, same is with the food we saw being cooked, tossed and served hot at the classic streets of our hustling cities since childhood. Saha chose three bijoux biriyanis , picked up carefully from three southern cities : Chennai. Hyderabad and Kannur.How would you avail these south indian biriyanis with authentic taste and at your same city bill in Noida ? Won't sizzle you more, read in Saha's own words the story of southie biriyanis and their exhaustive journey upto noida , upto your green leaf platter.
today it is morning of 3 am and i am still listening Illyaraja Mouna Ragam BGM. my main objective is not to write a treatise on Illyaraja's illuminating composition. it is to express my experience about south Indian Biryani, for instance Dindigul biryani and Kozhikodan biryani. both of them are highly popular, highly esteemed and highly acclaimed. but both of them are victim to high tone of violence of authenticity. even if one looks at Hyderabadi or Lucknowi or Calcutta Biryani, most of the people happily lull in such sustained propaganda of wrong methodology and wrong ingredients not to mention wrong or uncanny ingredients. i would keep the reader in perpetual darkness if i dont exemplify some wrongful notions. one, Biryani always is cooked with pure ghee. biryani uses lots of cashew and raisins. even in one book i encountered thiskind of fallacies going to the extreme verge of using soya sauce!!! so far so good, now i will dispel some doubts and would try to give some authentic description of Dindigul and Kozhikodan Biryani.
Dindigul biryani was created in the 1950s by Nagaswamy Naidu with seeraga samba rice and the flavourful water of Kamarajar lake from Athhur. for making dindigul biryani you have to make a smooth paste of 16-20 shallots and 16-20 flakes of garlic. you have to make a separate paste of ginger of about 3 inches thick piece and biryani masala. now it is obligatory to tell you that the biryani masala prepared all across southern states of India in all the authentic restaurants from Calicut to Chennai are almost the same with infinitesimal differences which i am not telling you to underestimate. there are no big or large difference. three or four green cardamom, 2-3 cinnamon stick, 5-6 cloves tej patta, poppy seeds(omit it while preparing the spice mix for Dindigul one), fennel seeds a spoonful, cumin a teaspoon, black cumin a teaspoon and 3-4 dry red chilli and peppercorns according to your taste. convert all the teaspoon into tablespoons if you are willing to make a rich Biryani. a nutmeg and some petals of mace and two star anise are must. now as far as the star anise and fennel seeds impart a special taste to your biryani which is characteristically south Indian. so if you happen to be a north Indian, use your discretion or adapt your palate to the special aroma of the above mentioned spices. latter is the more recommendable option. two more items which arguably and veritably add southindianness to your biryani are fresh coriander leaves and mint leaves finely chopped. in rice, in case of dindigul, we are supposed to use Seeraga Samba rice and in case Kozhikodan or maabari and Thalessery variety, we use Khyma or zeerakasala variety, both of them fragrant and small. you cook them. your house would be redolent with an indescribable aroma.
souring agents are lemon juice, curd and tomatoes. use them every now or then either while marinating the mutton or chicken pieces or precooking them. as cooking is a matter of precision it is also a matter of liberty. omit, add, increase or decrease the quantity of spices as per the discretion. 15 years before i read a celebrated book on Biryani called 'biryani' authored by Katy Dalal, an archaeolgist by profession. she recommended, dont be very much sticky or stereotype in the spices though what i would be recommended is that be a littel precise about the time during which oyu putting the entire substance into a dum. rice should come up really well cookec well fluffied but not unfortunately mashed up, there is fair amount of finesse in the texture of rice, though not uncooked, which makes Biryani distinct from normal rozana rice. the fragrance, the flavour, the look and the contour. everything that keeps it apart from every day preparation of rice. that is why Biryani is so renowned. in dindigul which is also called Thallpakutty according to the name of the restaurant rice is cooked in the mutton stock prepared with onion, garlic and ginger paste and the biryani masala and with an abundance of coriander and mint leaves. in thalassery, the rice is cooked in plain water aromatized with some little green cardamom, cinnamon and star anise. it should be three fourth cooked and the mutton or the chicken too, then finally put together in layers. fried onion, fried raisin and cashew are some of of the ornaments of thalassery biryani. rose water can be used. but saffron should not be used, in my opinion. in dindigul biryani, it is better and safe if you first pre cook the mutton in masala and then again pressure cook it with rice and additional amount of water up to 2 whistles. the general theory is if you are cooking the rice and half cooked mutton in a pressure cooker then use exactly the same amount of water as the amount of rice. for example one cup of rice = one cup of water. but if you are cooking in a pot with a closed lid under a moderate flame, reducing the flame step by step consecutively, then use water double the amount of rice. in pressure cooker water does not evaporate easily. the main problem of cooking the dindigul biryani is cooking the rice along with mutton chunks which inhibits the rice grain to be cooked thoroughly in a pot, but in pressure cooker such obstruction is overcome. if you are quite obdurate that you would cook the rice on a closed lid pot, then dont add the mutton pieces, simply cook the rice in the mutton juice with additional water. add the mutton later when you feel the rice is 90% done.
in our virgin endeavour to feed our south Indian residents of Noida and Delhi, we have enthusiastically opned a venture called ' The Coastal Monk'. it would weekly serve a sumptuous meal of dindigul and thalessery and kozhikodan Biryani. along with some shining accompaniments which would lighten up your stomach and demeanour. Mirchi Ka Salan and Dalcha. it would be an overnight delivery. we have registered ourselves with Zomato. we have a clean and excellent record and experience of cooking biryani for last 15 years. earlier our experience was to serve hyderabadi and lucknowi and calcutta biryani. the main speciality of The Coastal Monk is that it uses no artificial colour or food preservatives, fresh condiments and authentic spices are assorted by me and my friends and these are mixed at home with utmost cleanliness. we have business gimmic and we use authentic khyma and seeraga rice. in QUORA we have one of the larges satisfied readers, who have been waiting for a long time, more than 2 years, for this proposed resturant to be launched. we have a facility to serve you overnight, as over the years we have felt there are a lot of unmarried and married families looking for authentic coastal food. i know there scores of items like prawn and other sea food items which are coastal speciality. but this is only the beginning.