Jaffer Bhai’s Delhi Darbar
This offers the quintessential Mumbaiyya biryani which has a high proportion of masala in it and traces its origins to the Bohri community. The original outlet of Jaffer Bhai is at Grant Road and biryani from here is transported to many of its branches across the city.
You get a good rendition of the Awadhi biryani from Lucknow at Kakori House. The biryani here is less oily in comparison to what you get in the streets of Lucknow in places such as Wahid’s or Lallaji’s. The branches at Mahim and Oshiwara offer seating while Bandra does only deliveries.
Golconda Bowl, Juhu
Hyderabad is as well-known as Lucknow for its biryani. The Hyderabadi biryani, unlike that of Lucknow, has pockets of spices embedded in the rice and is spicier. The meat is cooked with the rice unlike in Lucknow where it is cooked separately. Golconda House serves a version which is pretty close to what you get in places such as Shadab and Bahar in Hyderabad.
The rice loving people of Kolkata are crazy about their biryani, which traces its origin to the biryanis of Lucknow. The Kolkata version has a higher proportion of rice in comparison to meat and has potatoes in it too. Lazeez in Mahim, from the house of Shiraz in Kolkata, offers the Kolkata version in Mumbai.
Kerala has a variety of biryanis and the Malabari version with short-grained rice which covers a thick meat masala, is the most popular. Hotel Deluxe in Fort is one place to try this out. Don’t forget to order a hot glass of peppery rasam on the side.
Kalyan Karmakar authors the popular award winning blog, Finely Chopped and is an authority on the food of Mumbai. His extensive knowledge of the city's food scene has been featured in publications such as Femina, Mumbai Mirror and BCC Good Food. He was one of the founding critics of EazyDiner's Mumbai team.