Tasting Zafrani Biryani @Paradise Food Court Indiranagar-Bengaluru

Paradise food court located at Indirangar-Bengaluru, hosted me to the exotic Zafrani Biryani Festival on 22nd FEB. The 64-year-old legacy brand synonymous with Hyderabadi Biryani, announced  'Zafrani Biryani Festival' across all its outlets in Bengaluru, Hyderbad and Chennai. 

The Zafrani Biryani Festival is during lunch and dinner time at all their Dine-in Restaurants and Takeaways and also through their delivery partners – Swiggy, Food Panda and Zomato.

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The Zafrani Biryani festival is on till 31st March 2017, a very secret ingredient and the recipe of which was held only within the confines of the royal Mughal family. A dish that was a regular in the royal kitchens and for their guests was out of reach for the then common man. As India opened up its trade to other countries, people were slowly exposed to the fact that the much-protected ingredient of the dish served at the Royal Palace was the Zafran or Saffron - a very expensive ingredient that made all the difference in creating that certain zing of a taste, flavor and aroma. Hence, the name of the dish itself was centered on the special ingredient that was used.
Pics Courtesy: From Paradise Blog

About Paradise:
Back in 1953, a small Canteen and Cafe functioned out of a cinema theater called Paradise in Secunderabad. The Café continued its services even when the theatre shut down. Between 1978 and 1996, under the leadership of Mr A Hemati, the restaurant underwent an exhaustive re-structuring, renovation and modernization program that was aimed at adapting to the changing social trends and evolving food habits of the people. The Paradise brand became synonymous with Hyderabad and Biryani and it was only in 2004 that the Management decided to expand to other cities and other localities in Hyderabad. 
Watch how Paradise Biryani is prepared to perfection.

In fact the world’s favorite people too enjoy the world’s favorite Biryani. Paradise boasts of clientele that includes celebrities from every walk of life including politicians, cricketers, and heads of States, film stars and many more.  An array of dignitaries including Sachin Tendulkar, Aamir Khan, Sania Mirza, Rajamouli besides Rahul Gandhi and Chef Sanjeev Kapoor are amongst the host of celebrities who have enjoyed the famed Hyderabadi cuisine at Paradise.

Vijay Anand Bakshi, Corporate Chef, Paradise said, “All our methods to prepare and serve the Zafrani Biryani have been planned down to the minutest of details. From the kitchen to the table, we are confident of delivering the best that we can. 

We have identified and sourced each of the ingredients for them to blend so as to give the best flavor and aroma. Our 'secret' ingredient, the saffron, has been sourced specially for this festival and yet we have priced our variants at very affordable pricing to ensure that each Biryani lover is able to taste our special offering."

The Paradise 'Zafrani Biryani Festival' is an effort to present, revive and re-introduce to the die-hard Biryani lovers a rare and much loved cuisine of the Nawabs and their guests. 

It is no longer reserved for a select few, but to anyone who is looking to taste a delightful variety lost to the mists of time. The Zafrani Biryani is available in two variants – Chicken and Mutton.

We Started our lunch with few starters and lime soda...
Chicken Tikka Kabab

Paneer Tikka

Chicken Reshmi Kabab

Condiments for Biryani: Mirchi Ka Salan, Raita, Lime and Onion...

Zafrani Chicken and Mutton Biryani

The Zafrani Chicken and mutton Biryani was packed with flavors and it was spicy. People who prefer spicy biryani can order for double masala biryani. Both mutton and chicken meats were marinated well and cooked to perfection, the meat literally fell off the bone, rice was not mushy every grain was separated and not dry. The quality of rice, meats and spices are always good at paradise.

Every bite of this chicken and mutton biryani literally melted in my mouth,  rice and meat was packed with flavors I happen to have three servings of biryani and thoroughly enjoyed.

Finally ended our meal with warm double ka meetha and Khubani ka Meetha. Double ka meetha is Indiansed version of bread pudding. Khubani ka meetha is apricot reduction served with heavy whipped cream or vanilla icecream.

Paradise has always been my favorite place for biryani this zafrain food festival was cherry on the cake. Guest are going to enjoy both the offering, hats off to all the efforts by Paradise and Chefs team. We enjoyed the biryani and Kababs. 

Double ka meetha and Khubani ka Meetha

Overall I enjoyed both the biryanis, defiantly worth a visit. kababs were good it was slightly dry for me went well with biryani. Three picks from the tasting are both the biryanis and khubani ka meetha, a apricot dessert.
Meetha Sauf (Sweetened Fennel Seeds mouth freshener)

The 'Zafrani Biryani Festival' is available in all outlets across Bengaluru (Indiranagar, Kormangala, New BEL Road, J.P Nagar, Electronic City, Whitefield).

Please note: They have two biryani variants – Zafrani Chicken and Zafrani Mutton  guests can get to enjoy the offering three ways – Dine In, Takeaway and Delivery. Pricing for each type differs.

The pricing will vary for Paradise outlets in Hyderabad, Vizag, Chennai. The below list is only for Bangalore. Price does not include taxes

Dine in
Zafrani Chicken Biryani-180/-
Zafrani Mutton  Biryani-195/-

Zafrani Chicken Biryani-175/-
Zafrani Mutton  Biryani-190/-

Zafrani Chicken Biryani-180/-
Zafrani Mutton  Biryani-195/-

Crab and Cheese Filled Samosas

I was inspired to create this recipe after tasting crab rangoon. I was surprised with the out come cheese and crab meat stuffing in these crispy samosas literally melt in your mouth. My project was a huge success, prepared these samosas for bunch of my friends who were visiting me after a vacation. Highly recommend everyone to try this recipe.

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500 Grams  Crabs or 1 Cup Crab Meat
1/2 Cup Cheddar Cheese Grated
1 Onion Finely Chopped
5 Tbsp Green Onions and Coriander Finely Chopped
1 Inch Ginger , 6 Pods Garlic and 6 Green Chilies Paste
2 Stock Cubes
1 Tbsp Pepper Powder
1/2 Tbsp Cumin Powder
Store Bought Readymade Samosa Sheets
3 Tbsp Maida
Salt as per taste
Oil for frying

Prep Up:
I got pre cleaned crabs from the supermarket and re-cleaned the crabs using luke warm salt water. 

Heat a heavy bottom pot or pressure pan on medium flame add 3 cups water the stock cubes and bring to rapid boil.

Add the crabs and cook for 15 minutes or until well done.

Once the crabs have cooked allow to cool completely and start separating the meat and shell. We can use the broth to prepare fish soup for later. 

For Samosa Filling:
Heat a pan on medium flame with 2 tbsp oil.
Add the ground ginger, garlic and chilly paste to the oil and fry till raw flavor has reduced.

Add spring onions, onion and coriander to the masala and fry till onions soften.

Add 2 tbsp water to cook the onion masala this will also reduce raw flavor from the masala.

Once the masala has cooked add cumin and pepper powder fry for a minute allow the raw flavor from pepper and cumin to reduce.

Remove the masala from flame allow to cool completely add crab and cheese adjust salt and reserve the filling.

Prepare Samosas:
Mix water and maida prepare a smooth batter and reserve.

Take a samosa patti or sheet lay it flat on kitchen table. Place 2 tbsp of the filling and start folding the samosa into triangles...apply the maida batter to the edges fold and seal.

Heat oil in a wok for frying place on medium flame allow to smoke.

Place the oil heat on low to medium flame gently drop the samosas one at at time and fry for 2 minutes on each side. 

Once the samosas turn crispy drain excess oil and serve hot with ketchup or chutney.

Spinach & Sweet Corn Curry for Roti #Supacorn

This spinach and corn curry is packed with flavors tastes excellent when served with roti or naans. I have used supacorn for this recipe the oxy sealed corn remains fresh unto 9 months, also very convenient to store and use.

1 Cup Blanced Spinach or 3 Bunches Chopped Spinach
1 Cup Sweet Corn from Supa Corn
1/2 Cup Coriander with stem Chopped
1 Onion Chopped
1 Tomato Chopped
1 Tbsp Ginger & Garlic Paste
2 Tbsp Coriander Powder
1 Tbsp Chilly Powder
1/2 Tbsp Cumin Powder
1 Tbsp Garam Masala Powder
1/2 Tbsp Turmeric Powder
1 Green Chilly
2 Tbsp Ghee
1 Tbsp Oil
Salt as per taste
1/2 Lime Juice for garnish...

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Heat a wok with oil and ghee on medium flame.
Once the oil reaches almost smoking point add ginger and galic paste along with the dry masalas fry until raw flavor reduces and oil separates to the sides.

Add spinach, tomato, oinon and chilly along with 1 1/2 cups water bring to a rapid boil and cover allow all the ingredients to cook till mushy.

Remove the cooked spinach from flame allow to cool.
Add the cooked spinach to a mixerjar and grind to form a smooth paste.

Transfer this gravy back to the wok add corn and salt bring to a rapid boil add lime juice and serve hot with roti...Enjoy😇

Kashmiri Food Festival @Nook-Aloft, Cessna Business Park, Bengaluru

Aloft  hosted bloggers table for their ongoing Kashmiri Wazwan food festival. Chef Sandeep Kumar and his team of chefs from kashmir Abdul Halem and Reyaz have curated a wonderful menu. The festival will end on the 24th January 2016. 

Every single dish starting from the kababs to curries and biryani, I tasted was prepared to perfection the quality and service is always consistent. Aloft is Located at Cessna Business Park, Sarjapur-Marathahalli Outer Ring Road, Kadubeesanahalli, Bellandur Post, Bangalore.

Chef Sandeep Kumar and his team of chefs from Kashmir Abdul Halem and Reyaz.

Entrance display at the kashmiri festival featured vegetables, spices, dried mushrooms, dry fruits and masalas from the region. The boat which was on the display is called as shikara which is used to transport vegetables and daily needs for people who live on boat houses in Kashmir.

Closer look at dried mushrooms called gucchi and spices...

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About Aloft: 
Aloft Cessna Business Park, is a perfect confluence of leisure and business featuring 191 spacious, loft – like rooms, an urban design aesthetic, live music performances and an active social scene.

From its high-tech work space with complimentary hi-speed 70 Mbps of wireless internet access to entertainment amenities like plug & play docking stations and a one-stop connectivity solution for multiple electronic gadgetry like PDAs, cell phones, mp3 players and laptops all linked to a 42” LCD TV, Aloft Bengaluru Cessna Business Park has everything India’s next generation traveler seeks in best hotels in Bangalore.

Main Buffet

Once all of us settled down a bit we started indulging in lip-smacking starters and few welcome drinks: my drink was a mint and ginger infused lemon soda...

Kababs and Salads

Starters Counter: From the starters we tasted mirchi bajji, tbak maaz, muttar galouti kabab, murgh tikka, paneer pasanda and crumb coated basa.

Live Station: Chefs preparing tabak maaz and galouti kababs...

Salads: Black chickpea salad, pineapple salad, Salsa and chips, macaroni pesto salad...

Noon Chai: traditional Kashmiri Chai prepared with cardamom and saffron.

Chutney for Kababs and Biryani: Raddish chutney, Garlic Chutney, Imli( Tamarind and chilly chutney, ginger chutney, onion chutney, chilly and sesame chutney,  coriander and apple chutney and mint chutney...

Tabak Maaz: This starter was packed with flavors. Tender ribs of lamb marinated in kashmiri masala and fried in pure ghee literally melted in my mouth.

Shammi Kabab: Meat mince cooked with chickpeas and 15 different spices ground till smooth paste and shallow fried in ghee this kabab needs no explanation it was too good with chutney.

Bohri Fried Lamb Chops: Lamb chops cooked in special garam masala and then grilled on coals the taste was spicy with a hint of tang perfectly matched with biryani.

Muttar Ki Galouti: Peas and paneer kabab the flavors and taste was subtle and very creamy texture.

Tasaman Warimasala Paneer Tikka: Grilled cubes of cottage cheese in a chilly and spice blend was grilled on coals the cheese was soft and very creamy.

Chicken Tikka: This is a must try here at aloft nook. I enjoyed this tikka and always like this preparation at aloft matches perfectly with naans and biryani.

Kachumber salad

Kashmiri Naans very different compared to regular naans. These breads are stuffed with assorted nuts and khova (milk solids) every bite of this naan with the spicy curry matched really well. These naans very crispy on the out and soft in the center excellent with the curries.

Fragrant curries and biryanis, I would love to indulge into all day! Tosh Wagan: a brinjal yogurt curry, Gucchi Matar Pulao: Dried Mushroom Pulao, Rawagan Gad: Fish Curry, Gosht Mirchi Korma: Tender pieces of lamb simmered in spicy curry, Murgh Dhaniwal: Chicken simmered in spicy yogurt gravy. 

Gogji Haak: turnip and meat simmered in a spicy spinach gravy same version for vegetarins was paneer and palak, Mutter Tasman: Mushy pea gravy with chicken, Kashmiri Rajma: kidney beans cooked in red gravy, Lasooni Dal: blend of three dhals cooked and simmered with garlic and garnished with garlic tempering.

Kashmiri Murgh Biryani: I liked the biryani meat was flavorful very tender and the rice was cooked to perfection. Enjoyed this biryani with 2 different chutneys garlic and chilly.

Dessert Counter

Shofta: dry fruits custard, Mirchi ka Halwa: chilly pudding and Zarda Rice: saffron scented sweet rice  were unique and traditional desserts displayed to amaze guests.

Overall the buffet spread was too good, every dish was lip-smackingly delicious. Hats off to all the efforts by Aloft and Chefs team. We enjoyed the tasting session. 

Three picks from the tasting session is the tabak maaz fried lamb literally melted in my mouth, kashmiri murgh biryani, rice and meat was packed with flavors I happen to have three servings of this biryani. Finally the shofta warm and soothing halwa has always been my favorite.


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