It’s said a hot plate of biryani is like a beautiful woman, you should never let her wait. Am sure all biryani lovers would agree to this fact. Biryani is anonymous and versatile, breakfast, brunch, lunch, snack or dinner; it just fits in so apt irrespective of the time of the day. The aroma of meat, the texture of rice, the spices or just the name, can make anybody drool and make mouths water.
Making this celebration food is Nigar Sultana, a home chef, who makes “Pakka Chennai Dakhni Biryani” (as she loves to say this way) at her Daawat-a-Biryani! A passionate, creative, food enthusiast serving people some lip smacking biryani, after quitting her job from an MNC solely to dedicate herself to full time food business. The biryani madness everywhere inspired her to tweak the original recipe and do justice by serving the right amount and right taste for the price her customers pay.
Relishious: What makes biryani so special?
Nigar: Biryani is a secular food, it unites people. I think the recipe in itself is so complete that it pleases all your taste buds. The combination of fresh meat, spices and perfectly cooked rice when comes together, makes the dish magical and the satisfaction eating Biryani gives is heavenly.
Relishious: How was Daawat-a-Biryani born and where has it come today?
Nigar: I first started to cook for family and friends; it’s their encouragement which made me take this up as a business. Facebook is the only platform, where I take orders from. Pages like Chennai Shopping and Chennai food guide has helped me a great way to popularize Daawat-e-Biryani. Also few cultural events in colleges across the city and word of mouth is what brought me this far.
Relishious: What makes Daawat-a-Biryani unique?
Nigar: These days every street has a Biryani shop, but nobody does justice by giving the right quality and quantity. At Daawat-a-Biryani we have done many trials to match what taste people love. Also the quantity we serve is more than any biryani joint in the city would serve. Ofcourse, the hygiene factor and my love in every grain make us unique.
Relishious: If you have to choose one ingredient from the Biryani recipe to say “this is the king”, which one would it be?
Nigar: I think it’s the mix of ingredients is what makes Biryani what it is. If at all I have to choose one, I would say meat! Either mutton or chicken, it has to be fresh with the right cut. This totally changes the taste of biryani.
Relishious: Tell us about your support system.
Nigar: My family has been very supportive. It all happened by God’s grace with my mum making the investment. They’ve always been there helping me during emergencies. Initially, I was taking care of the cooking myself but later as the business expanded, I’ve appointed cooks who assist me.
Relishious: What has been the best moment so far at Daawat-a-Biryani?
Nigar: I think it’s during the IIT Saarang times. We participated in the year 2012 and 2013 and both times, we sold more than 1000 servings and still had people waiting to buy from us. That was a proud moment; I felt I have achieved something.
Relishious: What’s coming up at Daawat-a-Biryani?
Nigar: As of now there is no new dish coming up. Am happy with the response and feedback I’m getting from my customers every day. But I want to be able to serve even small quantities like half kg in future for people in small families through out the week, as of now we do so only in the weekends. Biryani for all – anytime!
Having said that, Nigar plans to conduct Biryani making classes on demand. She takes customer’s feedback seriously and implements it immediately. Now that’s what makes her a fabulous chef!
You can reach out to her and find out about the biryani varieties she serves, iftar packs(Ramadan only) and more – Daawat-a-Biryani
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