Dubai: Nothing unites true foodies as much as it makes factions out of aficionados like a well garnished biryani in its full gastronomic glory. Ask a Hyderabadi and he will swear by the spicy mixed rice version from his neck of the woods as much as a Calcuttan like me will gloat about the aromatic Awadhi-style egg and potato in rice recipe.
If you did, however, head to the Biryani Festival starting this Thursday at the Antique Bazaar, the Four Points by Sheraton, Bur Dubai, sans those allegiances, I dare say, you will be pleasantly surprised. They are laying out at least eight delectable varieties of Indian biryani over the next fortnight or so and each dish is ready to win you over.
Like their Dum Subz Kofta Biryani (Dh60) where the kofta (fried dumplings of minced vegetable) is slow oven cooked in a sealed container (dum) with long grain basmati rice. Moderately spicy and richly aromatic - thanks to rosewater, ground spices and saffron - it is a typically North Indian style biryani done exceedingly well.
Their Lehsuni Machhli (garlic fish) Biryani (Dh75) is a similar rice preparation where the fish - cream dory marinated in yoghurt, ginger and garlic paste and Kashmiri chilli powder for at least two hours before being pan fried - makes all the difference as does its extra garlic flavour.
A Bohri Murgh Biryani (Dh75) is their spicier variant with a distinct flavour of chicken tikka marinated in home made spices. Cooked Mughlai style, the fresh lemon and chilli add all the zing.
Not keen on so much spice? Try their Yakhani Mutton Biryani (Dh80) where the meat is sautéed with yoghurt, ginger garlic paste and brown onion before being cooked in its own stock and then simmered with rice, all the aromatic spices, rose water and plenty of fried nuts. Another old classic reinvented!
Meal for two: Dh150
Location: Mezzanine floor, Four Points by Sheraton Bur Dubai
Festival Timings: Sept 11-27, 7.30pm to 2am
Bookings: 04-397 7444