It was a disappointment that let Adit Madan of The Biryani Project (TBP) venture into the craft of creating gourmet Biryani. According to him, “Most places in Delhi  have been serving their own version of biryani which was not even close to the authentic Awadhi or Hyderabadi Biryani. Biryani, since a long time, has been a royal delicacy. But many variants of this food item are easily available today within the price range of Rs 100-200. It is clear that this cuisine went through compromises in the commercial market.”

This downward shift irked Madan and the next step for him was to undertake meticulous research pertaining to this food item. He put a couple of years in the research and travelled to Hyderabad, Lucknow and Kolkata in order to learn the authentic dish. But the road was full of challenges. He says, “The biggest challenge was learning the biryani from the masters. It was difficult because, traditionally, biryani is a closely guarded secret. Most biryani masters sent us back because of this reason and some who agreed, asked us ridiculous amounts of money.” Nevertheless, this initial setback passed away and in Lucknow, he found a well-known biryani master. “He agreed so easily as if he was waiting for this opportunity of passing his art of biryani to somebody else,” says Madan. “The truth was, just like us, years back he was looking to learn about biryani and a very helpful master gave him all the secrets.”

All this passion of Madan led him to create a short but interesting menu featuring authentic biryanis from various regions of India. In the menu we see Mutton Biryani from Lucknow and Hyderabad expanse. We also see Chicken and Veg Biryani from Hyderabad region. Cooked using exotic spices and extracts from plants, the biryanis are flavourful. Choose Hyderabadi variants if you are open to experience a spicy taste in your mouth. Godavari Andhra Biryani should be definitely ordered once. This signature dish is a dry and spicy variant of biryani using pan-fried chicken. The servings come in an earthen pot which increases the flavour of this dish. TBP has recently also launched Bohri Biryani which is a specialty  of Bohra Community from Maharashtra region. And the organisation has plans to expand into more variants. Madan says, “Our team is currently working on Mutton Chettinad Biryani and Kerala Prawn Biryani. We are also looking to bring some authentic curries from different regions, to our menu.  There may be Korma from Lucknow, Rogan Josh from Kashmir and Dhaba Curry from Punjab in our new menu.” A good research is the key ingredient in making TBP an aspiring
project.

 

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