I don’t know about you, but to me Kolkata is all about its food. And naturally this section is going to comprise the largest section of my Blog and intends to guide not just my tourist readers but also Kolkata’s inhabitants. I love to eat and visit places. And to me the best way to know a place is through its food. And believe me, in that respect I can guarantee, that there are few people who know Kolkata as well as I do :).
Few people know that Kolkata is THE best place to eat biryani. Yes, I know, you have heard about Lucknowi biryani and Hyderabadi biryani, but never about Kolkata biryani!. Well that’s because you have never been properly guided thus far. You can read about the history of Kolkata biryani here, which claims that it was quite by accident that this recipe evolved, but, accident or not what resulted was perfect genius. Kolkata biryani originated from the Awadhi style and is unique in its use of potatoes and eggs (at some places). Unlike Hyderabadi biryani Kolkata biryani is a lot lighter in its use of whole spices but has subtler and deeper layers of flavors. There are several styles of Kolkata biryani, and “the best place to eat biryani in Kolkata” is a topic that remains open to discussions but ultimately unsolvable.
My favorite place to eat biryani in Kolkata is Amber. There is only one kind of biryani that you find there, mutton moti biryani. It is a tad bit spicier that other biryanis in Kolkata. What I love the most about this biryani is that you get something in every bite. The rice is perfectly cooked with just the right amount of spices and the right balance of ghee. I think the fact that they have only one biryani on their menu speaks volumes about the quality of their biryani. If you are unable to go to the actual restaurant near Esplanade, there is a takeout counter just opposite Ram Krishna Mission in Golpark.
Shriaz remains the most loved biryani place in Kolkata for most Calcuttans. This is undoubtedly the essential authentic Calcutta biryani and definitely worth a visit. You can read more about the place in this blog.
My next most favorite biryani place in Kolkata is Zee Shan, for its fall off the bones tender meat and juicy potatoes. And yes I am obviously talking about the mutton biryani!
The most popular biryani place these days seems to be Arsalan. Theirs is a spicier and richer version of Calcutta biryani. Do try the awesome kebabs they have there on your next visit.
I have not had the opportunity to eat biryani at Nizam’s so far, but it is one of the most popular biryani places in Kolkata, and I totally intend to hit it on my next visit to Kolkata