Saturday, 21 November 2015

A Memorable Mutton Briyani

Biryani is a mixed rice dish usually prepared with intense and aromatic spices, rice and meat. It is a rather complex dish, not only because Briyani is little complicated to prepare, but also for the fact that many claim their briyani as the original one. Also, there is no specific recipe for it - the dish changes from place to place, people to people. In India, briyani is not just a dish, it’s a tradition, kind of a cultural expression. Historians believe that the dish could have come to India all the way from Persia via Afghanistan. Briyani is also quite popular among the vegetarians, the preparation is more or less the same, just instead of meat they mix vegetables.

After living in Bangalore for more than a decade, I can easily claim it is the land of briyani. Bangalore is a cosmopolitan city, and one can find people from each and every part of India, that too in huge numbers. Briyani has gone deep into the food culture of Bangaloreans. The situation is similar to 'Momo in Guwahati’. There’s just momos’ and monos’ everywhere in Guwahati. There, one can’t run a restaurant without serving momo. Momo is just so deep into the food culture of  the people of Guwahati, particularly youngsters, college-goers. Biryani is to Bangalore what Momo is to Guwahati. One can find almost any kind of briyani in Bangalore. Apart from the usual Chicken, Mutton, Egg and Veg briyani, one can also find varieties of Fish and Prawn briyani as well. They serve briyani in almost every restaurant in Bangalore, be it big, small or roadside restaurants. Briyani in any form is an absolute delight. Every briyani is heavy on flavor, the moment we put a spoonful inside, it fills our mouth with rice aroma.

Along with the tongue people also have emotional attachments towards the briyani of their origin. Some of the most popular briyani as far as Bangalore is concerned are recipes of Lucknow, kolkata, Kerala; but nothing can compete with the Hyderabadi briyani. It is a brand. Hyderabadi briyani also comes in different flavors - Hyderabadi Dum briyani, Boneless briyani, Chicken fried briyani and many more similar stuffs.

Okay, enough of briyani gyan, I think now I should shift gear towards one of our memorable Mutton briyani. The incident happened about seven or eight years ago. During those carefree days, on one weekend I and Anjali went out in the evening. After little bit of shopping we thought of having dinner outside. We were at Koramangala, one of the most happening place in Bangalore. We knew about a very famous briyani restaurant there, but were confused to locate it. I called one of my friends and got to know we were pretty close to the restaurant. But my friend suggested us to avoid the place, as on weekends it’s usually overcrowded.

Despite the warning we visited the restaurant. We found that the place was not just overcrowded, it was chaos. I asked the manager how much time it would take. He replied that it would take about an hour. Looking at the crowd I felt the manager was quite generous in his response. The aroma of briyani was heavy in the air. It seemed Mutton briyani was a specialty over there. We decided better we order a takeaway rather than waiting. Even the takeaway took quite a time. The moment someone handed over our parcel I was more than delighted. The polythene bag was heavy, we had ordered two plates of Mutton briyani.

We took an auto back home. It was 10 in the night. The weekend rush was bad. I was holding the briyani bag, the wait was getting desperate. We reached home. I put on relaxing, homely clothing. Switched on the TV. Anjali brought the plates and spoons from the kitchen. Happiness around, we were all set to relish the tempting Mutton briyani. I cut open a packet, put some on a plate. The pleasant smell of briyani instantly rose to my face. I dipped into the packet with two fingers, searching for Mutton pieces. I found one and took it out. But I was puzzled to find it to be a big piece of potato. I took the whole briyani out. No Mutton pieces, only giant potatoes.

I wondered they’ve wrongly given Kolkata briyani. Well, one unique thing about Kolkata briyani is that they also mix potatoes, big pieces, along with the meat. But in our case there were only potatoes, no meat. My heartbeats started to accelerate. And then I thought, they might have kept all the Mutton pieces in the other packet, together. I immediately opened the other one, only to find potatoes and potatoes, no meat at all. I and Anjali stared each other in discomfort. I thought to search for the restaurant number and call them. But that would have been stupid, I guess. Without much of an option we both ate the briyani with heavy heart. It was delicious, but we missed to bite some flesh, missed to chew on the mutton bones that night.

Grab a copy of my debut book Story of Tublu from Amazon or Flipkart. It is a Contemporary Fiction novel, published by LiFi Publications Pvt Ltd. The book has its share of drama, that entertains; humor, that makes one reminisce; love, friendship and emotions that defines the amazing journey that is, life.

Saturday, 7 November 2015

A Little Moment of Pride

The Assam Tribune is one of the oldest and most reputed English daily Newspaper from Assam, India. It was founded in 4th of August 1939. First published from Guwahati, it is now published simultaneously from Guwahati and Dibrugarh. It has a huge readership in Assam and is the highest circulated English daily in the entire North-East India. I grew up reading the Assam Tribune, right from childhood - schooldays - college. I could recollect the fine morning, I checked my Engineering entrance examination results in the same Newspaper. I was pretty relieved. I've left Assam almost a decade ago to earn my bread. Like many other things back home, I also miss the Tribune, the smell of its print, refreshing. I do read it online though.

Today, when I read the book review of my debut book "Story of Tublu" published is The Assam Tribune, I was overjoyed and thrilled. I felt content, a little moment of pride.

You can read the review here.

Grab a copy of my debut book Story of Tublu from Amazon or Flipkart. It is a Contemporary Fiction novel, published by LiFi Publications Pvt Ltd. The book has its share of drama, that entertains; humor, that makes one reminisce; love, friendship and emotions that defines the amazing journey that is, life.

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