What: The Great Awadhi Biryani Festival
Where: Oudh 1590 at both their outlets, at Deshapriya Park and Salt Lake, Sector 1
When: From 3rd June, 2016 to 3rd July, 2016
Timings: Lunch: 12:00 hrs – 15:30 hrs & Dinner: 18.30 hrs – 22.30 hrs
Cost for 2: Rs. 800/- plus taxes
Awadhi cuisine, also referred to as the Nawabi Cuisine, originated in erstwhile Awadh, now Lucknow. The usage of warm spices and techniques like slow-cooking by creating steam pressure (dum style of cooking), are the highlights of this cuisine. But my favourite part of Awadhi is its unbelievably soft meats.
Oudh 1590 brings exactly that to Kolkata. In fact the chefs have been brought in from the famous Tunday Kebabi to keep the authenticity intact. This Great Awadhi Biryani Festival is an yearly celebration of the one dish we all hold sacred in our hearts – the mighty Biryani. The Choudhury brothers, Shiladitya and Debaditya, Partners at Oudh 1590, along with Chef Mansur Ahmed, are at the helm of this festival. Well, I have always loved Oudh for Galouti Kebabs closest to what I get in Lucknow, in Kolkata. And their range of Biryanis are no less impressive.
Kolkata is a biryani crazed city, but lacked a mid-ranged family restaurant specifically aimed to satiate biryani lovers. So that’s a vacuum that Oudh 1590 has filled up with its presence. Also, the much-famed Kolkata Biryani is said to have originated from the Lucknowi Biryani, and the basic structure of these remain the same. Just the egg and the potato, the essentials of any good Kolkata Biryani, aren’t a part of its fore-father.
I went to try out their Festival Special Menu, on an invitation to the Kolkata Food Bloggers, and tasted the following:
- Yakhni Gosht Biryani – The perfect mutton biryani, with the meat literally falling off the bone.
- Keema Biryani – Perfect meat granules with the wonderful aromatic long-grained rice, minus the hassle of tackling bones.
- Gosht Bhuna Khichdi – The hot and sizzling avatar of the humble khichdi.
- Gomti Mahi Pulao – Oh, so tender chunks of fish in fragrant rice.
- Subz Kofta Biryani – Beautiful golden koftas adorning the perfectly cooked rice, giving some assurance to vegetarians.
I know that this is a Biryani Festival and I should be raving about the hardcore Biryanis, but the clear show-stealer for me was the Bhuna Khichdi. The warm, soft, ghee-doused khichdi tempered with the perfect balance of spices and dotted with small, succulent pieces of shredded mutton, enticed me to keep going back to it, one spoonful at a time.
The Gomti Mahi Pulao came a close second. it’s a must have for fish-lovers, and those looking for a milder alternative to the much-aromatic biryanis. The fresh flavours of this one, with the perfectly seasoned chunks of creamy fish, was a treat indeed.
All you city peeps, this festival is on till the 3rd of July. So make sure you grab your Handi of pleasure before the date.