Hailing from Kolkata & Hyderabad being my second home – Biriyani is Bae & Paradise is so synonymous to Biriyani – I just could not help saying “Yeah” instantly – when I was contacted.
Paradise is an age old (almost 64 years old) – Legacy brand now known to every one for their Hyderabadi biriyani. They were hosting their third innings of Hot and Juicy Kebab Festival – across cities (Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai & Vizag) simultaneously. The small café functioning outside the Paradise Theatre, Secunderabad underwent massive reconstruction, renovation & modernization, adapting to the changing social trends & have become an iconic Biriyani place for not only Hyderabadis but for most of the tourists visiting the twin city (Hyderabad & Secunderabad).
The Chef, Saurabh Saxena had flown down from Hyderabad & was hosting a special lunch where they showcased 13 of their 22 special Kebabs chosen from the length & breadth of the country.
We tried some kebabs like Barkas Rubina (cashew marinated prawn), Mutton Shooleh (lamb pieces soaked in yoghurt & scented with cloves), Murgh Sarfiya kalimiri (I really loved this one, de-boned chicken thighs marinated with cardamom, crushed pepper & cooked in Tandoor), Dhaundhaar Pankhuri (which translates to Smoked Petals, spiced chicken winglets smoked over charcoal.
They also had about 4 types of Veg Kebabs – out of which I loved the Paneer Lolly (Let me tell you – this was very innovative & the first of its kind I had – it was a long slice of Paneer with sesame crust served in a skewer)
This was followed by Mutton Biriyani with double masala (this is a term I have picked up from my Hyderabad days, as I love my biriyani with a little more masala)
To finish this lunch in a nawabi style – we tried some of the absolute Hyderabadi desserts like Double ka meetha, Khubani ka meetha (the apricot dessert I love anywhere and anytime) & gajar ka halwa (think of it at this time!!! The chef explained that Paradise have already sourced 90 tons of carrot chosen, picked and stored from the best of places – just to use it at the right time – whenever they require. Now that’s a lot of planning – to get us our favourite dishes, round the year!!!
What I loved about the sweet dishes were – the right amount of sweetness & no over usage of cardamom or other added color.
The interaction with the Chef was one of the interesting part of this afternoon, where Chef Saurabh Saxena, who comes with rich experience working with some of the best-known chefs in India shared his views – of taking Paradise forward not only to other cities in India, but even outside the country. He has travelled across the country & can easily talk about the origin of different dishes. He shared his thought of giving his diners the richness of traditional nawabi food which are lost from the menu card. He has a great sense of humour & time fled over good food & great conversations.
Thank you, Paradise, Thank you Peoplerelations – for this wonderful Kebabish afternoon!!