Of all the Indian dishes evoking strong emotions, Biriyani might be the one closest to our hearts. Favourite of Nizams, this dish has ruled Mughlai, Awadhi, Hyderabadi and Middle Eastern kitchens for many hundreds of years.
There are as many, if not more, versions of Biriyani as there are Indian states, but our loyalties lie with no particular one.
Speaking of the varieties of biriyanis, where would you go in Qatar if you crave to experience something different from the normal Biriyani?
Head on to Biriyani Hut in Wakra, where you have the Daawat-e-Biriyani, a two-week Biriyani Festival until 11th October.
Our Dining Experience
As part of the Festival launch, we were invited to do a dining review on the special menu.
The restaurant is situated opposite Seef Petrol Station in Al Wakra Main Street, next to the KFC outlet and has plenty of parking options nearby.
Upon arrival, the courteous team at Biriyani Hut made us comfortable and took time to explain the special items in the festival menu. Our waitress was kind enough to make some recommendations for starters and we decided to go with them.
After the complimentary Papad and mint chutney, we were served with the starters.
The highlight among the starters was the Shammi Kebab – soft, smooth and stuffed with just a little finely chopped onion, mint and green chilli. The description on the menu says ‘a lamb preparation, which melts in your mouth’ – true indeed.
Apparently there is a story that Shammi Kebab was invented by a highly skilled chef for a Nawab of Lucknow. As the Nawab didn’t have any teeth to chew, the chef made these special kebabs that were so fine that it required no teeth to eat.
Stories apart, the Shammi Kebab is a must try if you love lamb kebabs. (Price : QR 39)
Pathar Ka Gosh
Another delight was the Pathar Ka Gosh, which is prepared by heating tender mutton on a wide mountain stone. It is this speciality of stone cooking that gives the name Pathar ka Gosh (pathar meaning stone).
The meat is marinated overnight and slow-cooked on slabs of stone. The preparation time is long but worth it, as slow cooking gives the meat a silky, melt-in-the-mouth texture. (Price : QR 37)
Chapli Kebab, which is minced meat served with mint chutney is another good option for meat lovers.
It is traditionally prepared with tender meat and a delightful blend of fresh herbs & spices. Popular in both Pakistan and Afghanistan, chapli comes from the Pashto word meaning flat. (Price : QR 34)
For the main course, we were spoilt with choices. After weighing many options, we decided to go with Mykalia Biriyani , as the description seemed interesting. And we were right, it turned out to be a winner!
The look itself was quite surprising, as the biriyani was completely wrapped in an egg omelet. After breaking open the egg layer what waited beneath was true bliss.
The rice was long, the chicken was tender and the seasoning of melon seeds was providing a unique taste. (Price : QR 29)
Another item for the main course was Shahi Murgh, which is a kind of mild and creamy chicken curry.
Shahi Murgh, the well-known Mughalai dish rich in flavour and taste, was seasoned with vegetables. It is recommended to have it along with with Naan (Indian bread) to make a perfect pairing. (Price : QR 29)
The splendid meal ended with a selection of desserts handpicked by the chef.
Shahi Anarkali is basically Shahi tukda with a twist – topped with cut fruits and well-decorated with sauces. (Price : QR 19)
The surprise package was Kadhu Ka Kheer which is prepared by cooking white pumpkin with milk, cardamom and ghee.
Rich in taste and seasoned with dry fruits, you wouldn’t even feel it is made from pumpkin – a highly recommended choice for dessert. (Price : QR 19)
If you are a biriyani and kebab fan, this festival is for you. You might have been to Biriyani Hut in the past, but what this festival offers is a rare chance to try out some of the best variety of biriyanis and kebabs from all over India.
What the Chef says
“With Dawaat-E- Biriyani, flavors from Hyderabad we have attempted to touch upon some of the best delicacies from the Hyderabad Region like Pathar Ka Gosh, Hyderabadi Marag (Mutton soup), Chicken Razeala, Nalli Nihari & Nawabi Thahari (Dum Mutton Biriyani) though in our special menu which is exclusively just for the festival. You will also find some other famous cuisines from the entire Indian region such as Lucknowi Biriyani, Anarkali Biriyani & Kadhu Ka Kheer”
Amjath Kamarudeen, Executive Chef, Biriyani Hut
The festival starts at 7 pm everyday and ends on 11th October 2015. Contact number : 33668172, 44641401.
Biriyani Hut, a member of Lifestyle Group is on Facebook.