Novotel New Delhi Aerocity has recently launched the Biryani and Kebab food promotion for home delivery.
For us in India, biryani isn’t just another dish. It evokes emotion. And the sheer variety ensures that no two people ever claim to have the same favourite biryani. Battles are fought across dining tables on the virtues of the Hyderabadi versus the Awadhi biryani and even as the two warring sides are unlikely to ever reach a consensus, mention Kolkata biryani and a whole new debate starts on the merit of potatoes in biryani.
We love biryani so much that for the past two years it has been the most ordered dish on Zomato and Swiggy. As per Swiggy’s StatEATstics report, veg, chicken, or mutton, collectively some form of biryani was ordered more than once every second in 2020! For every veg biryani (puritans will tell you there is nothing called the veg biryani, it is simply a veg pulao), there were six chicken biryani orders. Chicken biryani was the number one sold dish while mutton biryani was number five. Swiggy also added three lakh new customers, in 2020 because of biryani – they made their debut on the app by ordering the dish.
Seeing the popularity of the dish Novotel Hotels & Resort, New Delhi Aerocity recently launched the Biryani and Kebab food promotion for home delivery. “Biryani is easy to transport and therefore works well in the home delivery format,” says chef Neeraj Tyagi, Director of Culinary – Pullman & Novotel New Delhi Aerocity. “It’s the perfect comfort food,” he adds. Tyagi says that in Delhi it’s only Awadhi biryani and the kache gosht ki biryani which is popular and Novotel wanted to introduce biryanis from other parts of the country. So on the menu are three types of Hyderabadi biryani – kache gosht ki biryani, murgh dum biryani, and the unusual aloo chutney ki biryani where potato cubes in a tangy mango, coriander and mint chutney are cooked with long grained rice on dum. It is flavoured with mint, coriander, fried onions and saffron. If you are looking at trying a vegetarian version, this one is worth ordering.
Then there are also three types of Lucknowi biryani. The gosht kofta biryani has hand-pounded mutton mince balls cooked in stock and then layered with long grain rice and cooked on dum. “In the murgh yakhni pulao, the rice and the yakhni – chicken marinated with yogurt and cream – are both cooked separately and then layered in the handi which is sealed and cooked on the dum,” explains Tyagi. For vegetarians, there is the subz korma biryani which is basmati rice cooked with fresh vegetables.
For fans of Kolkata biryani, Novotel is offering the gosht biryani with succulent mutton pieces and chunks of potatoes and eggs.
I tried the Thalasseri mutton biryani from the Malabar region of Kerala. It is prepared using Khyma rice, a short-grained fluffy rice. “The key difference lies in the method of preparation. The rice is cooked separately from the mutton gravy and then mixed well. It’s tempered with cashews, raisins, and fried onions. The meat is cut in smaller pieces,” explains Tyagi. The meat was tender and the biryani was less spicy than the traditional Hyderabadi biryani.
What makes the Novotel biryani and kebab promotion special is that each biryani is cooked individually in small earthen handis on the dum. So when you order, a handi which is sealed with a strip of dough is delivered to you. “We pay special attention to the meat. It is all fresh. The meat is slaughtered and within 40-45 minutes it comes to us. It is not frozen. It is still tender. We marinate it and use it for our biryanis,” says Tyagi.
While the biryanis are definitely the highlight of the promotion they are well complemented with the variety of kebabs on offer. The shami kebab, lamb barrah kebab and the bhatti ka murg are the most popular. I tried the shami kebab. “We pound the meat with our hands. We don’t use any grinder or mixer,” says Tyagi.
What makes the kebabs special is that the hotel prepares its own kebab masalas. “We don’t buy any spices from outside. We make our own kebab masalas. They are dry roasted and hand pounded,” says the chef.
The vegetarian section also has interesting options such as bharwan anjeer paneer tikka where paneer is stuffed with anjeer (dried figs) and cooked in the tandoor. Try the malai broccoli. The broccoli is from the hotel’s vegetable garden, so it’s fresh and organic.
The promotion is on till June 30. For orders, call on 9871666600.