There are seldom foodie dishes that rouse one’s curiosity to unknown corners of one’s palate and have the potential to make you travel far and wide in search of the city’s finest. We talk of nothing other than the heavyweight champion of the foodie world - BIRYANI! According to popular belief, biryani is said to be a creation brought in by the Mughals but critics and historians alike have varying versions of where biryani originated. Some accounts go to the length of saying that biryani is actually Indian, and was in vogue much before the Mughals came along.

We, of late, have been besotted with a niggling question of what comprises a biryani? How different is it from a regular-joe pulao? What method is the best one to prepare a biryani? And so on and so forth. We’re yet to find the answer for all such queries, but we finally decided to undertake a journey in search of Delhi’s best kept secrets and their biryani hideouts. Here’s the list - cheggit!

1. Hotel Malabar

In the bylanes of Julaina, a small locality right opposite New Friends Colony, lies a clean and decent restaurant serving coastal food. Run by a Keralite, this place serves one of the most diverse biryanis ever sighted on any menu. Apart from their special Kappa Biryani, there’s Fish Biryani, Prawn Biryani and a beef and chicken variant too. We ended up falling in love with their Chicken Biryani which comes served with dal papad and raita! We guarantee that you, too, will fall in love with their fragrant rice emanating fresh spices from down South!

Price | Rs 100
Location | Hotel Malabar - 37A, Sarai Julaina, Opp Escort Hospital, New Friends Colony

2. Madina Chicken Corner

For all food enthusiasts, the area of Zakir Nagar has replaced Delhi 6 as the to-go place for the ultimate street food when it comes to kebabs, kormas and biryanis. So our first destination could be none other than Madina Biryani which has caught this part of Delhi by storm! Arif Qureshi, the man behind the name, proudly talks about his Chicken and Beef Biryani and how adding Haleem to it (calling it Daleem Biryani) makes him remember the biryani sold in the Muslim-dominated Western belt of UP. We couldn't agree more as we washed down an entire plateful of saffron-clad, fragrant ‘Badey ki biryani’! 

Price | Rs 40 Onwards
Location | Madina Chicken Corner - Near Jama Masjid, Zakir Nagar, Okhla

3. Matka Pir Biryani

For as long as we can remember, Babu Shahi Bawarchi has been dishing out the most divine Chicken Biryani day in and day out. From a small makeshift shop in the compound of Dargah Matka Pir, he makes this biryani that’s worth crossing hurdles for! With huge marinated chicken pieces, this biryani is another example of how street food beats restaurants by miles when it comes to authenticity. Come get it!

Price | Rs 320 Per Kg (Chicken) & Rs 400 Per Kg (Mutton)
Location | Matka Pir Biryani - 5, Darga Matka Peer, Pragati Maidan

4. Dil Pasand Biryani Point

Mohd Tofiq wouldn't ever have, in his dreams, thought of becoming this famous when he started with only Badey Ki Biryani (beef), but a small shop tucked away deep in the bylanes of Chitli Qabar is enough to demand respect for us to include it in a list of Delhi’s finest. Huge boneless beef pieces, pickled rice, their special raita and lots of onion garnishing is what made us his fans for life! We strongly recommend a visit to this place if you ever plan on an exploration of Delhi 6!

Price | Rs 160
Where | Dil Pasand Biryani Point - 735, Haveli Azam Khan, Chitli Qabar Chowk, Jama Masjid

5. Andhra Bhawan

Its no secret that the Andhra Bhawan Canteen serves their special Hyderabadi Dum Biryani only on Sundays and owing to this fact, this place sees hundreds of people within a span of three hours when lunch is served. It took us almost an hour to be seated, only to be served within minutes, piping hot Kacha Gosht Biryani, a style of preparation more commonly found in Hyderabad. Their Chicken Biryani is served with egg on top, and no extra colour is added to the rice to keep it simple, classy and as lip smacking as ever! 

Price | Rs 220
Location | Andhra Bhawan Canteen, Feroze Shah Road

The plethora of options for biryani is unending and so are the types of biryanis available all over India. The type of emotion a biryani generates has made us outline these go-to places for one of the best biryanis in town. Do try them and thank us later!