Top 5 places to find BIRYANI in San Francisco Bay Area - Reader's Pick
By bayareadesi team on 11 May 2011
Biryani, biriani, or beriani is a set of rice-based foods made with spices, rice (usually basmati) and meat, fish, eggs or vegetables. The name is derived from the Persian word beryā(n) which means "fried" or "roasted". Biryani was originated in Iran (Persia) and it was brought to South Asia by Iranian travelers and merchants. Local variants of this dish are not only popular in South Asia but also in Arabia and within various South Asian communities in Western countries.
It has travelled throughout India and taken form and name according to the region it was re-created in. During Mogul empire, Lucknow was known as Awadh, giving rise to Awadhi Biryani. In 1856, British deposed Nawab Wajid Ali Shah in Calcutta, giving rise to Calcutta Biryani. Aurangzeb installed Nizam-ul-mulk as the Asfa Jahi ruler of Hyderabad, as well as a 'Nawab of Arcot' to oversee Aaru Kaadu region (Six Forrests) south of Hyderabad. These moves gave rise to Hyderabadi Biryani and Arcot Biryani. The Biryani spread to Mysore by Tipu Sultan of Carnatic. Needless to say it was a royal dish for Nawabs and Nizams. They hired vegetarian Hindus as bookkeepers leading to the development of Tahiri Biryani.
Let's give a count-down of our reader favorite Biryani palces in bay area (in order they were ranked) :-
- Peacock Indian Cuisine - since their opening, they have been popular with biriyani. The offer a variety from vegetarian to non-vegetarian with their most popular being Hyderabadi Dum and Chicken Biriyani. They have got 5 locations in bay area. The word of caution the food is very spicy so be prepared to gulp lots of water, napkins to clean your nose and you might have to wait for quiet sometime before you get your oder.
- Biryani Bowl - is a simple fast food restaurant. They are famous for their Hyderabadi dum biryani. Their patrons swears they are hooked to it and crave everyday. The prices are reasonable. They are located in Fremont, CA.
- Athidhi Indian Cuisine - another favorites of bay area-ites. The are famous for their Lamb / Mutton biryani. The restaurant serves biryani in their buffets too and gets gobbled fast. The prices are average. Again this is hit-or-miss restaurant. They have two branches in Sunnyvale & Fremont, CA.
- Zafran Indian Pakistani Cuisine - unfortunately it is closed now and has been taken over by Mehran. They were famous for their Goat biryani. Their service was pretty bad and on crowded days had to wait for a long time before you get your order. They were located in Santa Clara, CA.
- Bawarchi Indian Cuisine - They are famous for their Chicken biryani. The prices are on higher side. They are different in restaurant menu and on the website. Thye are located in Sunnyvale, CA.
- Gulzaar Halaal Restaurant - is located in San Jose, CA. Their signature dish is Chicken biryani. It is not the traditional Indian biryani but if you want to try out diiferent taste. The prices are towards higher side. They have got raves over the years but for some eating in styrofoam containers might not be pleasing.
So if you are craving authentic biryani and can handle the heat Peacock is for you but if you are looking for fast service with good taste try Biryani Bowl.
So don't be afraid to try, you might be suprised you might find BEST BIRYANI ever!!
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To check out Biryani recipes Click here