06
December
2015

Review: Firdaus Biryani is an Altogether Different Experience without Mirch Ka Salan

By: Sourav

When I shifted to Hyderabad in 2013, I got to know that the city of Nizams is synonymous with two things: Charminar and Biryani. Hyderabadi biryani was the very first thing I tasted at a Bawarchi outlet near Jubilee Hills. Since then my biryani exploration drive has been on the go across the city. It took me to some biryani points in Hyderabad, including Paradise, Sarvi, Shadab, Shah Ghouse, Hyderabad House, Al Rabea Al Arabia, and Firdaus. A few more city restaurants serving biryani are there to explore in the coming months.

My recent visit to Firdaus Biryani near TV9 at Banjara Hills happened on invitation. I had heard a lot about Firdaus Biryani from some of the food bloggers in Hyderabad before I actually tasted it this week. It neither deviated nor differed from the positive reviews I had got from some foodies in the city.

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Firdaus Biryani is an altogether different experience because it is served without mirch ka salan unlike biryani at most of the restaurants in Hyderabad. Mirch ka salan is a special spicy curry which we usually mix with biryani to make nibbles feel smooth in the mouth. I did not find mirch ka salan a must need while having a plateful of chicken biryani at Firdaus. The biryani was neither dry nor sticky. It was adequately spiced itself that it did not need mirch ka salan as an add-on.

Another unique thing to mention about Firdaus is that the chicken biryani was served with a bowl of thick raita unlike the watery raita which accompanies the dish at other biryani points in Hyderabad. The raita was not just thick but delicious as well. Usually raita is so watery at other restaurants that I don’t have it with biryani simply because it does not add to the taste. However, I could not help lapping up the raita with biryani at Firdaus.

When the biryani came on to my table, I was overwhelmed by a distinct aroma emanating from it. On being asked, Mr. Ravi Yedavalli, cofounder and CEO of Firdaus, revealed that the biryani was cooked in pure buffalo ghee and full fat cream milk. He shared with me some details of the way biryani is cooked in his restaurant.

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Apart from biryani, I had pan fried fish among the starters and Gil E Firdaus among the desserts on the menu. Fried in pure mustard oil, the fish was crispy outside and soft inside. Unlike typical Hyderabad dishes, the pan fried fish was a non-spicy affair. A plate of two pan fried fish is served with coke as a meal, not in the regular version. I would have liked it more if it were a little spiced up with black pepper flakes.

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My food fiesta at Firdaus ended with a sweet note over Gil E Firdaus, a special Hyderabadi dessert. When I spotted it on the menu, I wondered if the name was so poetic how the taste would be. And the taste was amazing. Gil E Firdaus was rich with dried fruits, which are not visible on the surface in the picture. Do give it a try whether you are full or not after a plateful of Firdaus biryani.

For your information, the first Firdaus outlet at Banjara Hills, road no. 3 has started serving breakfast too.

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