On the 'biryani' trail

l Culinary expedition

On the 'biryani' trail

Father-son duo from Bengaluru, Anoop and Aarush Fernandis have taken their love for ‘biryani’ to the next level. They are on a quest to explore all the popular ‘biryanis’ in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Telangana. They take short vacations, or as they like to call them, ‘biryani road trips’, to do so. In a chat with Tapan Menezes, the excited duo talk about their recent experiences.
 
How did the idea for the expedition come about?
Anoop: We came across an article about how the ‘biryani’ made its way into India, in different parts of the country, and we were  keen to explore them. My son is a huge ‘biryani’ fan and I wanted him to have a small vacation where he gets to experience good ‘biryani’.
    
What was the planning involved for the trip?
Anoop: Since we had only six days and 1,600 km to cover as per our plan, we had to ensure maximum coverage without the journey being exhausting. We worked on the timings so that we get to taste the best ‘biryani’ at different restaurants during their  working hours. We were also keen on visiting some historical sites, temples, churches and beaches.

The different places you visited...
Anoop: We visited most of the well-known places in South India. We went through Mysuru, Thalaserry, Kozhikode, Kochi, Karaikudi, Madurai, Dindigul, Salem and a few more places.

Did you face any difficulties during your journey?
Anoop: Since it was the start of Ramzan, we had to make sure that the restaurants we planned to visit were open to serve their ‘biryani’ during that period.

How did you manage to eat ‘biryani’ almost all the time?
Anoop: Since we knew we were going to survive on ‘biryani’ for all the six days, we had to eat judiciously, to avoid having an upset tummy. The concept of ‘half biryani’ ensured we had the right quantity, just enough for the taste and experience.

The best ‘biryani’ you had.
Anoop: Each ‘biryani’ has its unique taste and it depends on individual preferences. The kind of rice and the type of meat used varied at each location. However, I liked the ‘mutton biryani’ from Ahmedia Hotel in Vaniyambadi while my son preferred the ‘mutton pulav’ at Hotel Hanumanthu in Mysuru for its unique blend of spice.

What did you learn from the trip?
Aarush: India is an amazing country and the food is also very unique to each of the local cultures and their history. We enjoyed seeing the magnificent Meenakshi Temple in Madurai and the lovely old Chettinad houses in Karaikudi.

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