The word biryani is derived from the Persian word beryan meaning roasted and fried. It is usually prepared with a mix of rice, few spices, meat and in some cases even vegetables, potatoes usually. Biryani was introduced to Pakistanis by, Persian travelers and merchants. This dish has a global appeal and is not only popular in Pakistan and India, but also in Iraq, Iran, and also amongst Muslims in Sri Lanka and Mauritius.
One can find various versions of biryani in Pakistan. There is Pulao biryani, the traditional biryani, Mumbai biryani, Sindhi biryani also called Hyderabadi biryani, and some ancient forms – Mughlai biryani, Lucknowi biryani, Katchi biryani, Afghani biryani, and much recently we have seen some new genres arising and getting famous in the market, namely, Prawn biryani, Chicken Tikka biryani, Fish biryani, Then there are various forms of Biryani originating from the middle east,like Mandi or Haneeth and its variations.
With this piece, I am searching for possibly the best biryani in Karachi. Why Karachi? Because it is a hub of cultures as well as cuisines which various people have brought with them to this sprawling metropolis. It is also the birth place and famous for most forms of biryani and holds its forte for the age old famous Sindhi biryani and the very masalaydaar chatpati Mumbai biryani as well as the seafood biryani!
On researching, folks and friends have recommended me to try the Madni biryani from Bufferzone area, which is famous for its big serving, good quality rice and rich spicy qorma in which it is cooked. Competing with it is the Jeddah biryani, located on boat basin, Clifton, right next to Mottas supermarket; it’s a kiosk which serves equally good but a slightly pricy version.
Couple of years back, when I use to relish on biryani almost every second day, Karachi foods on Shahrah-e-Faisal, Indus Foods at Khada Market, DHA, Phase 5 and Sadabahar Foods in, Phase 2 extension, DHA, use to serve some real good biryani. Now, I hear that their biryanis have lost the Midas touch.
Amongst the new entrants in business, Desi on Shahbaz commercial serves a mouthwatering version of the mutton biryani and it is also listed as their chef’s specialty. This reminds me of one of Biryani House’s biryani from Burns road which is right next to Waheed Kabab House.
For seafood lovers, Biryani of the Seas, BOTs, near 3 swords, Clifton block 8, has great options in fish, prawn and also chicken biryani.
In search of the perfect biryani, Karachites are passionate and have tried biryanis from Kharadar, which is famously known as Malang Ki Biryani and Bismillah Biryani in Shah Faisal colony has been getting equal number of votes.
During the hunt, my pick is Al Naz Biryani from Mehmoodabad, it is a shack, or a bit bigger but ignore the ambiance and shop, the food is delicious. Oil free rice, fresh aroma of spices, good serving, and juicy chicken with some succulent potatoes, this is indeed a plate full of happiness!