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Weekend Grub: Biryani Mastani is here to prove there's more to biryani than chicken and beef

Weekend Grub: Biryani Mastani is here to prove there's more to biryani than chicken and beef

The new biryani joint promises to bring regional specialities like Bombay and Hyderabad Biryani to Karachi
Updated 16 Dec, 2016

I don't think I've ever met a person who hates biryani. I definitely don't want to meet someone who hates biryani. People like that just can't be trusted.

You might love pizza or karhai or nihari, but you can't deny that every now and then, you get cravings for biryani. Like me right now, or last night, or yesterday afternoon... or tomorrow evening... I digress.

But have you ever ordered biryani, only to be dissatisfied with what you've been served? It may not be that the biryani didn't taste very good, it's just that it wasn't the exact flavour you were craving. By that, I don't mean wanting beef biryani but getting chicken. I mean the spice level, the layering of condiments, the style of cooking — after all, that's what makes one biryani place's offering different from the other.

The often forgotten truth is that 'biryani' doesn't refer to a single dish. And its varieties extend beyond just the type of meat in it.

Enter Biryani Mastani!
Enter Biryani Mastani!

With this notion of variety in mind, entrepreneur Ahmed Sadiq launched Biryani Mastani, Karachi's latest biryani joint.

"At Biryani Mastani we have made it our mission to ensure this variety is brought to our customers in the best possible way, trying to remain true to the origin of each type of Biryani that we currently serve and will serve in the future," says Ahmed Sadiq.

He adds, "We are the only Biryani restaurant that pays homage to and celebrates this amazing variety as part of the restaurant and brand vision and want our customers to pause and consider Biryani as a metaphor for the amazing history, diversity and unity that exists in Pakistan and in the sub-continent."

Well, the Biryani Mastani mission statement definitely caught our attention and we clambered to try some.

Where to go

Biryani Mastani is mainly a take-away and delivery place at present. However, considering how well they've set up their shop at Seher Commercial, Lane 5, they should start proper dine-in soon.

The eatery's interior is decked with wall murals of Pakistan's iconic sights in pop art style. The bright colours and funky designs will enamour you before you even taste their food!

The store is one to visit. Hope they have dine-in soon!
The store is one to visit. Hope they have dine-in soon!

If you want to order from the comfort of your homes, you can do that too. The pretty packaging of the biryani ensures that you don't miss out on the visual treat!

When to go

Biryani Mastani is open everyday from 12pm to 11.30pm.

What to order

Currently, Biryani Mastani has three main dishes: Shahi Pulao (Chicken), Bombay Biryani (Chicken) and Hyderabadi Biryani (Mutton). We also got our hands on their two dessert options, Peshawari Zarda and Matka Kheer... I mean, when you wanna go all out, you go all out, right?

Their delivery was prompt and the food arrived piping hot, so that was one basic requirement immediately taken care of.

Loved the packaging!
Loved the packaging!

The Shahi Pulao was interesting. The rice was well-seasoned and light in spice. It is enjoyable and worth a try but not if you are like me and prefer mutton in your pulao. However, considering the restaurant plans to add more dishes to their menu and they did a good job with their chicken pulao, I am quite confident that if they launch a mutton variation, it would be delicious.

The chilies provide fragrance but the dish is not spicy, as pulao should be
The chilies provide fragrance but the dish is not spicy, as pulao should be

The Bombay Biryani was the least popular in the office. Although it was marked hot in the menu, we found it to be a little lacking in spices. It didn't blow us away. Perhaps it was what I said earlier — i.e., it wasn't the exact flavour I was in the mood for.

The weakest from the lot but not the worst biryani I've had
The weakest from the lot but not the worst biryani I've had

It's the Hyderabadi Biryani that will beckon me to visit Biryani Mastani. Maybe it's my mutton bias, but the rice were well seasoned, it was spicy the way biryani should be and the mutton was also cooked to the right temperature, which is, from what I hear, not an easy feat in the field of biryani making. I tried all the dishes but went back to the Hyderabadi Biryani for seconds. And thirds... don't judge me.

Meet the ruler of Biryani Mastani!
Meet the ruler of Biryani Mastani!

After the savouries, it was time for the sweets. While the Matka Kheer was nothing extraordinary, I was smitten by the Peshawari Zarda. It was fragrant, delicious and overall beautiful. My problem with zarda in general is that it's usually made so sweet I feel it gluing my mouth shut. This gem wasn't overly sweet, but just enough to satisfy your sweet tooth. Plus, the coconut topping won me over too.

Coconut for the win!
Coconut for the win!

I can imagine many biryani lovers not being impressed with the current variety of Biryani Mastani but fret not fellow biryaners... biryanists.. I'm trying to create a new word here... the restaurant plans on expanding their menu soon.

"In time we will add Sindhi Biryani, Memoni Biryani, Lucknow Biryani and many more," says Ahmed Sadiq and it's definitely something to wait for. Why?

As Ahmed says, "We want Biryani Mastani to be a conversation starter and allow customers to think how we all come together and enjoy this amazing dish no matter which part of the region we are from. Biryani is truly unlike any other type of food, how it has adapted over generations and regions; it is truly Pan-Pakistan and Pan-Subcontinent."

Damage on the Pocket

Yes, we went all out with our order but even then, the price of two Hyderabadi Biryani, two Bombay Biryani, a Shahi Pulao, a Peshawari Zarda and a Matka Kheer totaled to Rs1500. Not bad at all! I see myself going for the Hyderabadi Biryani and Peshawari Zarda again. Maybe tonight... or tomorrow... or right now...


This writer can be reached on Twitter

Comments

1000 Characters
azo Dec 16, 2016 01:41pm
looks unhealthy
Recommend
Ahad Dec 16, 2016 01:43pm
I admire the amount of capital the vendor has put in, but the Biryani is crap. He tried to be unique, but terribly failed; talk bout the free roaming spices in the dish! The Vendor catered to my sister's school field trip and non of her IVS colleagues liked the food, no offence to the Vendor's logo designer who is an IVS alumni.
Recommend
Goga Nalaik Dec 16, 2016 02:15pm
Photos are not captivating
Recommend
Farouq Omaro Dec 16, 2016 02:18pm
Delicious looking!!
Recommend
Shoaib Dec 16, 2016 03:29pm
Wonderful and encouraging with revived temptation. but let hope and pray that they keep the spirit intact as what u report. Because most of the time most of the lot drifted and the public paying the price.
Recommend
Amit Dec 16, 2016 03:35pm
Lucknow biryani rocks. End of discussion.
Recommend
atif khan Dec 16, 2016 04:08pm
This is all a bit cruel for the ones who are living outside Pakistan...with no access to any desi food...sniff sniff...
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Suresh, Hyderabad, India Dec 16, 2016 04:51pm
Dawn, you made me run to the restaurant :-)
Recommend
Jalbani baloch Dec 16, 2016 05:24pm
There is no such thing as Sindhi Biryani.In Sindh the traditional dish in this category is polau.
Recommend
Pak lota Dec 16, 2016 05:39pm
Biryani place without Punjabi Biryani? If you can define Punjabi Biryani.
Recommend
KHURRAM RIAZ Dec 16, 2016 05:51pm
Mutton is actually lamb meat.I guess what the writer means is goat.
Recommend
Jabbar Pasha (Canada) Dec 16, 2016 06:10pm
@azo That is not true, looks fresh
Recommend
philosopher (from japan) Dec 16, 2016 06:32pm
I used to cook biryani for my Japanese friends they like it but the spices they can't bear although I keep the spice at lower level in terms of Pakistan's standard.
Recommend
Syed Waqar Ali Dec 16, 2016 06:45pm
The biryani does not look to be tempting.
Recommend
Iqbal Hadi Zaidi Dec 16, 2016 07:51pm
What a sheer bad luck. Pakistanis are not issued visas to enter Kuwait otherwise I wished to introduce Village, Karachi in Kuwait. Ironically a few Indian restaurants are doing very well for many years and I say with conviction and confidence that Village had wiped them out if it could be operative in Kuwait. Our food and varieties are superb to be honest and I wish Village could be found in Kuwait as well. Incidentally can anyone get me email contact of Village and other such like restaurants to reach them and seek their approval for introduction in Kuwait? Iqbal Hadi Zaidi /Kuwait / zaidi4merdiplomat@hotmail.com
Recommend
karan Dec 16, 2016 08:15pm
Looks like no Vegetarian Biryani is on menu.
Recommend
Raja Islam Dec 16, 2016 09:40pm
Very expensive food.
Recommend
Jagan Dec 16, 2016 09:45pm
@Amit... you must have never tried Hyderabad (deccan) dum biryani.
Recommend
Jagan Dec 16, 2016 09:46pm
@Amit ...of course end of discussion when nobody discusses about it!!!
Recommend
Dr Huma Khan Dec 16, 2016 10:08pm
Looking very unclean, hope you get proper meat. Food poisoning is always a possibility.
Recommend
Goutham Dec 16, 2016 10:42pm
At least one thing that you can get any Pakistani and Indian to Agree on - Desi food rules :)
Recommend
indian Dec 16, 2016 11:22pm
looks good
Recommend
waheed Dec 17, 2016 12:36am
@KHURRAM RIAZ no its not
Recommend
Jamal Dec 17, 2016 12:43am
Another burger joint serving burger biryani. Want to eat real biryani, come this side of the bridge to Burns Road, Hyderabad Colony and Nazimabad.
Recommend
Ajay Dec 17, 2016 02:12am
@atif khan Agree ! I am a biriyani devotee and visited Karachi from New York to taste good biriyani among other things .Author please visit this place again and again and update us . Maybe I will visit again . I like the idea of a vegeterian nonmeat version also. The magic is in the cooking and spices after all !
Recommend
sam Dec 17, 2016 05:10am
I have tried many type of biriyani,, But the best biriyani i had is Hyderabad Biriyani from Paradise Hotel, Hyderabad, which is one of the best, Thaleseri (Malabar ) Biriyani from paris restaurant Thalessery, Kerela, and chicken biriyani from biryani cart in new york on 46th st..Kayees Biriyani in cochi, Kerela is also superb. These guys have always maintain their consistancy without failure whenever i went.
Recommend
Ram Nath Satya Dec 17, 2016 09:03am
Hyderabadi biryani is always overrated, but everyone is entitled to his opinion. I find Sindhi biryani far superior in all aspects
Recommend
Asif Dec 17, 2016 12:52pm
I like my own biryani. I am a good cook.
Recommend
Adil Dec 17, 2016 06:04pm
@Jalbani baloch Its called Sindhi biryani because it looks beautiful,smells lovely and tastes awesome.....just like the great people of Sind.. A biryani doesnt have to speak Sindhi language to be called Sindhi biryani!!!!
Recommend
Mekal Faruki Dec 18, 2016 01:45am
Student Biryani, the best Biryani ever..
Recommend
Zubaida Khan Dec 18, 2016 07:16am
@KHURRAM RIAZ just a minor correction. Mutton is not lamb. A sheep that is younger than 1 year is called a lamb and it's meat is also called lamb. Sheep between 1 and two years are called hogets. The meat of an adult sheep is called mutton. Lamb is very soft and cooks quickly. It's meat will not sustain the heavy cooking needed for biruani.
Recommend
Krishna Dec 18, 2016 08:47am
@Ram Nath Satya You have not tasted the biryani from my native place, Hyderabad India.
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