A chef with 25 years of experience from the Lucknowi Gharana once said, “Making biryani is an art, it should be made in such a way that the guest won’t have anything to pick out of their mouth while eating it.” Hearing that made us think, it’s so important to get a recipe right. Biryani as a dish has surely evolved with time, passing through regions and various kitchens of moguls. Every state in India has its own style and there are many versions of biryanis that are served.
From huge deckchees to handis, and now in plastic or foil containers, Biryani has travelled and had its own tale to tell. With the QSR market booming, and with expectations of it almost doubling in 2017, we have so many who have hopped on to the bandwagon.
One such app based Biryani delivery service called Charcoal Biryani came our way. The menu is not complicated, the app is easy to use, and orders can be placed instantly. They boast about being nutritious and hygienic, and their packaging was impressive. A lot can be judged how the food is handled when it’s a delivery establishment. We were pretty chuffed to see each orderpacked neatly and were impressed how the food remained hot.
We ordered the Paneer Makhani Biryani, the Butter Chicken Biryani, the Chicken Tikka Biryani and the Lamb Biryani. Each box had the biryani container, a side of yogurt and disposable cutlery with paper napkins. The biryani container was vacuum sealed.
We tasted the Lamb Biryani first. It was delicious. We loved how the lamb pieces were cooked so beautifully, it was well marinated and the flavours were spot on. Every biryani pack had a generous layer of barista, which lent a really good aroma when the packs were opened. The proportion of the masala to rice was more than the rice which made us really happy.
The Butter Chicken Biryani was kind of disappointing as it had no real flavour of the butter chicken. It was just plain steamed rice with the a butter chicken gravy. It failed to impress as it felt like an ordinary mix of rice and thick gravy. There were hardly any pieces of chicken in it too. Three tiny ones to be precise. There was nothing unique or appealing about this dish. Even the Chicken Tikka Biryani failed due to lack of chicken pieces. It looked very similar to the Lamb Biryani but was not as half as good in terms of flavour.
Surprisingly the Paneer Makhani Biryani was the second best of the lot. It was delicious; the rice had a lovely aroma to it with the mix of veggies. It would be something we would love to order more of as you don’t find good veg biryanis out there. There still needed to be more paneer in the biryani though.
Charcoal Biryani has its highs and lows. Two of the four biryanis we tried were really good. The portions are OK compared to the other biryani takeaway joints. When a person orders a portion of biryani, he/she looks for 4 things; 1. Long grain rice that’s fluffy and flavourful. 2. Enough veggies or chicken/lamb pieces and potatoes. 3. Spicy and aromatic masala 4. Good portion size. We loved how Charcoal Biryani added brunoise diced potatoes to their biryani to ensure that you get flavourful potato pieces with every bite. They need to be uniform with their portion of meat in every parcel as they was hardly any meat in the Chicken Tikka Biryani. It was kinda disappointing coz we liked that biryani. It would also help if the portion of rice was more than what was packed. We would definitely be trying it again considering it’s a new venture and there will be things that they may change to improve their brand. Also, we believe that being consistent is the key to success for any brand so we’re hoping to have a better experience next time.