Monday, February 11, 2013

WHAT IS GOOD BIRYANI - THE FIVE TESTS TO JUDGE A BIRYANI


A GOOD BIRYANI
How to Evaluate Biryani  -  Five Tests
By
VIKRAM KARVE


A plate of mouthwatering Biryani is placed in front of you.

On first impressions, how do you judge a Biryani?

Well, as far as I am concerned, there are five basic tests you must carry out to assess a Biryani.


Test No. 1

SPREAD TEST

First try the “Spread Test”.

Pick up a little Biryani in your fingers and sprinkle it on the side dish. 

The grains of rice must not stick together but remain separate. 

The pieces of meat must be succulent, clear and dry, not greasy, and easily separate from the rice.

A good Biryani will easily qualify the spread test.


Test No. 2

AROMA TEST

Lift the plate of Biryani and smell the pieces of meat. 

The Biryani must be pleasantly aromatic.

You must be able to discern the delicate sweetish fragrance and appetizing mouthwatering aroma of marinated spices.

The aroma must not be overpowering, sharp or piquant. A good Biryani has a subtle and delicately appetizing aroma.

The Biryani must pass the “aroma test” with flying colours as there is nothing more appetizing than a mouthwatering aroma…!


Test No. 3

TASTE TEST

Taste the meat, ideally mutton. 

The meat must be well-cooked, flavoursome, succulent, delicious.

Then roll some rice on your tongue – the subtle flavour and taste of the spices must mildly and pleasantly come through, and must not be overpoweringly spicy, greasy or pungent.


Test No. 4

POTATO TEST

Now you come to the fourth and final test – the “Potato Test”.

Dig deep and search for the potato in the Biryani.

The potato must taste as scrumptious as the meat – that is the hallmark of a superlative Biryani.

And if there is no potato – well dear fellow foodie, tell me, can there be a perfect Biryani without a potato which tastes as delicious as the meat…?


Test No. 5

TEMPERATURE TEST
There is a 5th test for Biryani. 

Has it been served at the right temperature with light aromatic steam coming out from the rice and do you feel the warmth on your tongue when you eat  the inner part of the mutton.

Ideally, a biryani must be served in the vessel (with dum) or matka in which it has been cooked and the vessel must be opened in front of you.
 

Epilogue 

Last evening we had Biryani from Dum-a-Dum in Wakad Pune. 

Well, it was quite a decent Biryani and it qualified all tests, except the Potato Test. 

There was no Potato in the Biryani. I hope they rectify this lacuna. 

Otherwise, by Pune standards, especially if you live in Wakad, Dum-a-Dum serves quite a good Biryani which I would recommend.


HAPPY EATING

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 2013
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work. 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

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About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer and blogger. Educated at IIT Delhi, IIT (BHU) Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and an anthology of short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional  and academic research papers in journals and edited in-house journals and magazines for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing and blogging. Vikram Karve lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

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