In a blind tasting of biryanis catered by the city’s delivery services dedicated to the dish, newcomer Behrouz Biryani’s preparations would be instantly identified by their mithai-like garnish of almond flakes, raisins and cardamom and the intense aroma of kewra. After launches in Bangalore, Chennai, Pune, Mumbai and Ahmedabad, Behrouz began operations in Delhi in July'16.
Behrouz is competing with Charcoal Biryani and Biryani Paradise online businesses that have similarly standardised biryani recipes to facilitate quick service through their kitchens across the city. If lined up, it will be hard to distinguish between the eight Persian-style biryanis offered by Behrouzbiryani.com. In addition to the uniform garnishes, each variant is lavished with aromatic whole spices such as clove, cinnamon and bay leaves. Run a fork through the saffron-tinged rice and the biryanis reveal the same layer of sweet and spicy onion cooked down to a paste.
The homogeneity is particularly perplexing with regard to their meat biryanis. My order for paneer biryani was delivered unlabelled, barring stickers that only indicated that it was a veg or non-veg item. The Zaikedaar Paneer Biryani (Rs269) marred by dryness and hard blocks of paneer that needed to be marinated for longer. The rice was perfectly cooked but with an extra dose of raisins and almonds must be looked upon.
Behrouz is marginally more expensive than Charcoal Biryani, but also offers bigger portions of rice and toppings per box for that price. Each box, which can sufficiently feed two, comes with a bowl of salan and raita. The salan was oily and slightly bitter, while the raita was essentially watered-down curd overwhelmed with powdered mint. To garner the loyalty of biryani aficionados in the city where the dish is ubiquitous.