The title of “The Most Popular Indian Dish” in New York City is undoubtedly held by the Biryani. A dish entwined in rich history and culture, it evolved from the Mughal-influenced rice casserole, Pulao to give it the modern flavour and texture, endemic to Indian origin.
With as many variations as the diversity of the Indian Subcontinent, the basic elements of biryani, however, remain constant, bearing a familiar nostalgia. It involves an amalgam of rice (typically basmati variety due to its long and delicious grains), native condiments, meat or poultry, and vegetables.
Biryani and wholeheartedly relishing in its delicacy has become second nature to both the citizens and the tourists in New York. Here’s our list of the Biryani hotspots in NYC, for your travel itinerary that will make you fall in love with this iconic dish.
Biryani spots in NYC
1. Deccan Spice
One of the best places in New York City to get your fix of the classic Biryani. Deccan Spice’s excellent chefs find unique ways to maintain the consistency of their Biryani game. Using fresh ingredients, and their classic masala magic with the basmati rice as vibrant as their ambience, caramelised onions, and well-seasoned meat, their menu is mouth-watering for sure.
Location: 120 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY, 10016
- Daily: 11am – 12am
This chain restaurant is also popularly known as the Deep Indian Kitchen, and prides in creating everything from scratch. From the exclusive spice mix for the biryani spice, which they pound using a mortar and pestle to the fresh sauce that they brew. They have taken the authentic Biryani and elevated it with their own unique twist.
Locations: Multiple (Top 3 are given below)
- Flatiron, 25 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10010
- Columbus Circle, 940 8th Ave, New York, NY 10019
- Rockefeller Center, 1190 6th Ave, New York, NY 10036
- Weekdays (Mon-Fri): 10:30am – 10pm
- Weekends (Sat & Sun): 11:30am – 9pm
3. Biryani Spot & Curry
You will have a hard time finding a taste that competes with that of Biryani Spot & Curry. With an amazing range of biryani from meat variants to vegetable ones, it’s a favourite with both locals and travellers alike. Don’t forget to check out their absolute crowd-picks in the mutton and chicken variations. The key lies in their slow-cooking, letting the ingredients blend seamlessly into a fountain of taste.
Location: 71 W 109th St, New York, NY 10025
- Sun-Thu: 12pm – 11pm
- Fri: 2pm – 11pm
4. Chote Nawab
Chote Nawab is well known for its skill in the dum style of biryani making. This style is derived from the Indian city of Hyderabad and called as such. The signature of this biryani variation is the abundance of versatile ingredients that is lamb, chicken, mutton, and vegetables.
These are blended in with the fragrant basmati rice, fresh and tart spices, dry fruits such as peanuts, cashews, raisins. It is paired with a tangy yoghurt-based dip called raita. The slow-preparation in the oven gives it the powerful taste from the amalgam of several subtle ingredients.
Location: 15 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10016
- Mon – Thu: (Morning) 11:30am – 3pm, (Evening) 5pm – 11pm
- Fri & Sat: (Morning) 11:30am – 3pm, (Evening) 5pm – 12am
- Sun: (Morning) 11:30am – 3pm, (Evening) 5pm – 10:30pm
5. Biryani Cart
Emerging as one of the most loved food carts in New York City. Nestled at the corner of 6th and 46th, Indians and Americans alike clamour for a seat since its inception. Their menu and specialty items are absolute genius. It is simple yet splendid, flavorful in feasibility.
Location: 46th St and 6th Ave, New York, NY 10036
- Mon: 11am – 3pm, 6pm – 9pm
- Tue: 10am – 3pm, 6pm – 10pm
- Wed: 10am – 9pm
- Thu – Sat: 11am – 1pm, 10pm – 11pm
- (closed on Sun)
6. Bawarchi Indian Cuisine
Luscious taste and amazing portions, served swiftly and hot; if that sounds like your type, Bawarchi Indian Cuisine is your go-to.
Besides various biryani options, they also house an array of authentic Indian dishes that are pocket-friendly. A favourite of the East Harlem Indian community, it is as close as you come to the original Biryani.
Location: 1546 Madison Avenue New York, NY 10029
- Mon – Sat: 11am – 9:45pm
- (closed on Sun)
Served both ceremonially and communally, cooked in layers, where individual rice grains are tinted in hues of red, yellow, brown, or orange. Biryani consists of a wide range of condiments, popularly garlic, chilies, cardamom, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, onions, cloves, mint, pepper, and coriander.
The meat component can vary from sea food such as shrimp, prawn, fishes to poultry, mutton, chicken, and beef. Other popular ingredients are nuts like cashews, pistachios; and fresh, dried, or pickled fruits.
With regional diversities, many cities and states in India boast of their own Biryani variations. The Lucknowi Biryani is strongly Mughal-influenced with marinated meat added right at the beginning, slowly cooked in a sealed vessel, covered with a dough sheet for extra burst of flavour.
The Hyderabadi Biryani is of the dum-style, where, unlike Lucknowi type, the meat is added mid-preparation, with more aggressive seasoning and saffron.
Biryanis aregenerally garnished with cilantro, raw purple onions, boiled eggs, and lemon wedges. Regardless of their origin, biryanis are relished with a side of spoon-on spices and yoghurt raita. Southern India also serves salan, a peanut-based sauce and some local chutneys.
Nevertheless, all variations of biryani are influenced and amalgamated in each other in some forms. Thus, the authenticity of the biryani and its flavour depends on the culinary sense of the chef, and these 6 restaurants are spectacular in that way.
Read More here: