MB Recommends: Dum Biryani at Gajalee

February 1, 2013 6:11 am by

Rarely does our order of food at the Gajalee chain of Malvani restaurants incorporate anything other than seafood. As old patrons of the restaurant we don’t even feel the need to consult the menu as the staff (at the Vile Parle outpost) is well-versed with our order of tandoori crabs, teesriya masala and appams. We’d say then that our discovery of Gajalee’s masterfully executed dum biryani with mutton was fortuitous.

The biryani is presented ceremoniously in a matka with a lid tightly sealed with flour so as to retain moisture and aroma. As soon as it’s unsealed, you get a heady whiff of whole spices such as cloves, peppercorns, and cinnamon, the base ingredients for most biryanis. But it’s what lies beneath that gives this biryani its bite: pale yellow Basmati still soft from the steam, boneless tender mutton coated in a Malvani spice mix and the surprise ingredients, teensy pieces of carrot and specks of saunf that together add a sweetish-sharp kick. Only a single potato lies at the bottom, like a treasure for the first to reach it. The generous portion can easily feed three hungry mouths. Rs400, inclusive of tax. See here for locations.