The lifeblood of Eid feasts and star of most culinary walks and food vlogs – few one-dish creations have managed to capture the hearts of Indians like the mutton biryani. We’re going on an indulgent run through the most delicious spots in Bengaluru for a bite of this delicacy.
The stuff of indulgent spreads and midnight cravings, biryani’s origin story is marinated in mystery. While some credit it to the evolution of the Indian pulav, others place it in the hands of the city of Hyderabad, which has its own signature spin on the meal. Many experts agree on it being a product of Persian cuisine with the word biryani being a reference to the word ‘birinj biryani’ (translated, fried rice).
Historic records further elaborate on this by taking it back to the kitchens of the Mughals. A popular story goes that Mumtaz Mahal, chief consort of the emperor Shah Jahan, ordered the royal cooks to create a balanced dish for the undernourished Mughal army, giving birth to the biryani as we devour it today. And despite their being a dizzyingly large set of variations of the delicacy across the country, the mutton rendition remains the undisputed king of indulgent Indian delicacies. But don’t take our word for it. Head to these mutton biryani spots in Bangalore instead.
A wildly popular spot in the city for Afghani, Mughlai, Nizami, and Persian-inspired delicacies, Sharief Bhai promises authentic flavours with recipes that have been passed down through generations. Popular on the menu here are options like mutton kofta, patthar gosht, bheja fry, matka phirni, nalli nihari and murgh chaap.
Their har-dil-azeez gosht biryani, however, is their crowning glory. Served with raita, the delicacy features tender lamb meat and zeerak samba rice. Another delicious mutton option is the gosht keema biryani with spiced keema and raita. Both are dum cooked and near addictive.
Address: 96, Cleveland Town, Pulikeshi Nagar, Mosque Road, Frazer Town, Bangalore
Shivaji Military Hotel
Military hotels dish out some of the city’s most delicious, authentic flavours. Reportedly established to meet the food requirements of soldiers in the 17th century, they specialise in indulgent fare like mutton chaap, ragi mudde, and keema. And this particular establishment, which has been around since the 1930s, is no different.
Popular menu features here include mutton dry, spicy chilli chicken, and biryani. The mutton donne biryani features punchy flavours and comes with melt-in-the-mouth meat as well as fragrant rice. Served in dried leaf bowls (donne) which impart a certain flavour to the basmati number, this delicacy is available for breakfast and lunch. A favourite amongst locals, don’t miss out on this one if you’re in the city.
Address: 718, 1C Main Road, 45th Cross, 8th Block, Jayanagar, Bangalore
Mani’s Dum Biryani
Besides being a local-approved haunt, this spot specialises in all things biryani. Generous portions and affordable prices underline this establishment, as does their eclectic spread. On the menu are options like chicken 65 d’lite, chicken kebab biryani, egg biryani, fish biryani, vegetarian biryani, and more in varying portion sizes.
The mutton biryani, meanwhile, features layers of succulent meat and aromatic rice, served alongside raita loaded with vegetables. The space opens early in the morning and the mutton biryani runs out quite quickly so be sure to head here early for a bite.
Address: K.K.Centre, Jyoti Nivas College Road, Koramangala 5th Block, Bangalore
Known for its authentic Andhra cuisine, Nagarjuna is a must-visit for delicacies like prawn pepper fry, Guntur chicken, and mutton keema balls. An old establishment that’s been around for over three decades, the food here is served on eco-friendly banana leaves with kandi podi, a spicy gunpowder that underlines this particular cuisine.
Their most popular menu feature is the masam or mutton biryani, which comes with the classic, delicious fusion of succulent, melt-in-the-mouth meat with fragrant rice. Cooked in a special Andhra style, there’s a distinct flavour to this option that makes it unmissable on any biryani trail. That said, since the place can get packed in the blink of an eye, head here early or order in.
Address: Residency Rd, Near Galaxy Theatre, Shanthala Nagar, Ashok Nagar, Bengaluru
While we’re on the subject of Andhra-style food, we’d be remiss not to list out this popular spot that promises the use of quality ingredients in authentic delicacies. Popular on the menu here are options like lemon chicken, chilli prawns, chilli paneer, nati chicken fry, and more. That said, it’s the authentic Hyderabadi mutton biryani that’s won over the hearts of locals.
Featuring tender meat, perfectly-flavoured rice, and generous portions, this biryani is scrumptious to say the least. It’s got a spicy, mildly tangy quality to it and is served alongside salan. The mutton keema biryani is a must-try as well. Don’t miss out if you’re in the city.
Address: 52, 1st Floor, 33rd Cross, 4th Block, Jayanagar, Bangalore
One of the oldest establishments in Bengaluru, Chichabas draws diners from across the country. While Ramadan sees it dishing out delicacies like seekh kebabs, keema samosa, haleem, paya, and baida roti by the dozen, locals head here primarily for the biryanis.
On the menu are options like egg biryani, vegetable biryani, and chicken biryani, each made with in-house spices that give them a distinctive flavour. However, it’s their signature mutton biryani – which follows a recipe that’s been around since 1935 – that’s on our radar. Succulent meat and fragrant rice are packed with flavours that dance on your tongue. This is one of the most recommended biryanis in the city. Get a whiff and a bite to truly understand why.
Address: 50, MM Road, Frazer Town, Bangalore
Specialising in traditional Natti-style cuisine, Mallika Biryani has a limited menu of closely-guarded, authentic recipes. Cooked over a wood fire, the options here – chicken fry, liver fry, and biryani – have a distinctive flavour. The home-style mutton biryani is wildly popular in Bangalore and features meaty chunks with aromatic rice. The fat in the meat, which has a bite, adds a certain indulgence to the rice and the spices are mellow and warming, pairing well with their mutton curry. The biryanis here are served in large portions, making it perfect for sharing.
Address: Bileshivale Main Road, Near SSR College, Essel Gardens, Bileshivale, Bengaluru
Shivajinagar Gardi Ustad Pehlwan Kale Bhai’s
A hole-in-the-wall that’s been around since 1936, Pehlwani Handi offers delicacies like gurde, nalli ka saalan, and chicken kurma. However, it’s the heaping plates of mutton biryani, reportedly served every Friday and Sunday, that Bangalore locals rave about.
Featuring the classic combination of juicy meat and well-flavoured rice, the portion sizes here are generous and the prices are affordable. The biryani is also cooked on wood-fire, giving it a distinctive flavour. A wrestling pit at its heart, the place is run by professional ‘pehlwans.’ Come here for the ambiance and stay for the mouth-watering biryani. Or if you can’t find a space, order in.
Address: 169, Shivaji Rd, Swamy Shivanandapuram, Shivaji Nagar, Bengaluru