Biryani – the word usually invokes a lot of emotions. People are passionate and obsessive about this food and I have one such person at home – the man himself. I have been exploring various styles of biryanis along with him in quest to find and taste all of them that exist. And today we are talking about Dindigul Biryani which ironically I explored without him. You have to read this post to know more about this unique Tamil style biryani.
Dindigul Biryani is a famous Tamil style biryani preparation which uses jeera samba rice, chunks well cooked meat & is flavoured with loads of pepper just like most of the Chettinad cuisine. I had first heard about this biryani (rather first tasted this biryani, since the shops are everywhere now) couple of years ago when we were on a road trip back from Kerala and just stopped at a restaurant at Dindigul off the highway for a quick lunch break. While we ordered biryani, I also asked the server for menu, he told me “no menu madam, I will get you demo” and then brought this.
It had us in all splits, we looked at it and broke into laughter together and then the child asked if he can also taste the demo menu. When I instagramed it, people told me I MUST go to Venu Biryani in Dindigul to taste the real deal. Alas, it was too late for that time.
But recently while driving to Kodaikanal with two of my favourite people, I spotted Dindigul and was reminded me of the whole incident. Only I kept calling Venu as Prakash. Much fun was made of in our usual way of things, a quick google was done and then we took detour to get to Venu biryani. After all what is the point of driving yourself if one can’t take a diversion for good food.
It is very well marked on google maps and we made it there easily inspite of one of the passengers in the car moaning and cribbing about google maps (yes that is a personal joke. The person involved will get it 😉 ) Venu biryani has two sections – AC and non AC, thankfully we found a place to sit in the AC section because I think I would have melted in a pool of sweat in the non AC part. I felt my skin burning in the 5 minutes that I was out to wash my hands
Turns out the not having menu is a trend in this area because when we asked at Venu Biryani about the menu we were told Biryani. Ro asked two times I think,” Do you have a menu?”. The response was no we have biryani. Uber confidence about their product, a thing or two to learn about brand building I guess.
The biryani comes in two varieties – half and full. We ordered the half and were so glad because it was just right, both the quantity of rice and meat. This Tamil style biryani preparation uses jeera samba rice instead of usual basmati, has chunks of well cooked meat & is flavoured with loads of pepper, curd and lemon to give that slightly tangy taste. I really liked the biryani specially the meat was cooked just right. The rice were pretty spicy but not the Andhra style green chilly spice, this was a more flavourful and balanced spice hit.
Along with the biryani also came the famous mutton kola or gola. This one was almost perfect, mutton kheema well spiced with the right amount of filler.
There were also chicken and fish kebabs on offer. We tasted both, the fish one was interesting as it had a fish piece stuffed inside a chicken kebab and tasted decent. I didn’t much care for the chicken one in itself though.
All in all, it was a very happy meal totally worthy of the detour we made. If you are traveling on that highway I strongly recommend stopping by at Venu. Though ofcourse you can have this biryani at the numerous Dindigul outlets across south India these days. Thalappakatti which according to some articles is the origin of this kind of biryani also has branches in Chennai, Bangalore and other cities if you want to try.
And here are happy shiny people after a good dose of Biryani. Take a guess which one of them doesn’t like google maps 😉