Of biryani and candid conversations…
Situated at Baani Square of Sector 50, Gurgaon, is a restaurant bringing the flavours of Old Delhi to Gurgaon – Biryani & Qorma Express. The beauty lies in the fact that the ingredients are sourced from Old Delhi to be cooked in the Gurgaon kitchen, thereby retaining the traditional and authentic flavours of Old Delhi.
The restaurant offers an extensive menu ranging from tandoori chicken, mutton seekh kebab and fish tikka to a variety of qorma, biryani, pulao and khameeri rotis. Vegetarian variants include tandoori vegetables, dal makhani, paneer tikka, aloo gobhi adraki, vegetable biryani and more. Don’t forget to ask your server for the special dish of the day. You could be lucky to try nihari, keema kaleji or dal gosht. No meal is complete without desserts. Take your pick from phirni, gulab jamun and moong dal halwa.
With old songs playing in the background, it is a small, cosy space with 4 tables inside and 2 outside, good enough for a quick meal.
- Mutton Biryani:
The cold winter evening began with a hot pot of biryani. While the weight conscious generation might be more inclined to white meat, when it comes to biryani, red meat it is! I ordered mutton biryani, the favourite of many and home to the Mughals. The moment they brought it to the table, the air took a spicy drift. It was accompanied with the quintessential duo of raita and onions. I loved the way the green chutney was presented – in a balti (steel bucket). The mutton biryani was flavourful with the perfect marinade of spices. The meat was so tender that it fell off the bone easily. Good portion size for one person.
Taste: Meaty, aromatic, with a distinct taste of saffron.
- Gulab Jamun:
… and then came the king of Indian sweets, the ‘Gulab Jamun’ in its syrupy pool – a huge chunk, so finger licking good.
Texture: soft, delicate
Taste: Balanced (not sickly sweet)
Lyf&Spice gets candid with Mansoor Jamal:
Lyf&Spice got a chance to have a quick conversation with Mr. Mansoor Jamal, the backbone behind the food, and this is what he had to say…
“Having tried and tasted at various restaurants of Gurgaon, we realized that the true flavours of Delhi were missing. That is when we decided to source the ingredients from the old part of the city and cook it here in Gurgaon. Our chefs are experts in the field. They know the old secrets of the recipe and make sure that the masalas are roasted properly and cooked well with the meat.”
In an attempt to get the original flavours to Gurgaon, they realized that people have been appreciating their nihari and biryani a lot. Moreover, the people of Gurgaon are fond of eating and are very happy with the diffusion of flavours all the way here.
“Let’s take the example of daal ka halwa whose recipe comes all the way from Old Delhi. We roast and cook it in desi ghee to maintain the flavour.”
The chefs here are Rehaan Khan, whose family has been into this for the past 150 years and Anees Khureshi who specializes in Awadhi cuisine. Both their forefathers have been in this stream for generations, thereby specializing in the art of preparing biryani, korma and nihari.
“The mutton is sourced from Nawalgarh, while the spices are sourced from the bazaars of Purani Dilli. The complementary flavours contribute to the exceptional taste of the final product.”
Dishes that he recommends: Nihari, mutton biryani, keema, kalegi, lal ghost and daal ka halwa.
If you want to experience the old city food this side, without driving all the way to your pit stop, you know where to head to…
Read… Drool… Eat!
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