We went on a meat, rice and spice fuelled biryani trail in the city based on recommendations by Anubhav Sapra—the expert behind Delhi Food Walks. Here’s what we found.

Mota Pehelwan

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There’s no way you can miss this, even in the maze-like gallis of Chandni Chowk. A super tiny cubicle-like space, the entrance is marked by a gigantic degchi and an owner you just cannot miss. The Mota Pehelwan only sells buff biryani {by weight}, and it’s light and fluffy with flaming red chunks of meat thrown in.

Where: Chitli Qabar, Chandni Chowk

Nearest Metro Station: Chandni Chowk

Price: INR 50 per plate {350 gms}

Andhra Bhavan

Andhra Bhavan—in addition to their usual thali menu and curries—does stellar Hyderabadi Chicken Dum Biryani on Sundays. Pair it with the Bheja Fry, and your Sunday is sorted. You can even opt for a bout of shopping outside the gate, especially the lady who sells treats from the state: Pickles, banana chips, rava mixes, and even Telugu newspapers.

Where: 1, Feroze Shah Road

Nearest Metro Station: Khan Market

Contact: 011 23382031

Price: INR 180 for a plate of biryani

Taufeeq Biryani

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Further down the lane from Mota Pehelwan, you’ll see a small counter on the left looking like an Old Delhi version of a kiosk. Peer inside, and you’ll see a room full of people digging into their steel plates full of biryani. Again, they only have buff and sell by the kilo. While the meat was a little tough when we ate there, it was definitely worth the struggle.

Where: Chitli Qabar, Chandni Chowk

Nearest Metro Station: Chandni Chowk

Price: INR 160 per kilo, INR 40 for one plate

Moradabad Ki Mashhoor Biryani Ki Puraani Dukaan

There are two types of biryani to choose from here: chicken and buff. The Moradabadi Biryani is a simple one; the basmati rice is long-grained and fragrant, the chicken perfectly tender, with the only visible spices being cumin seeds and thickly chopped green chillies. Simple, and simply delicious.

Where: Dargah Road, Nizamuddin

Nearest Metro Station: Jangpura

Price: Starting at INR 150 per plate

Hotel Malabar

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Tucked deep inside the colony {you’ll be walking for quite a while} of Sarai Juliana stands Malabar Hotel; a neat and clean little restaurant known for their biryani. The specialty here is the Kappa Biryani {buff}, Prawn Biryani and Malabar Special Chicken Biryani, served in pristine white bowls topped with a poppadom and a spoonful of pickle.

Where: A-37A, Sarai Juliana, New Friends Colony, Okhla

Nearest Metro Station: Okhla

Contact: 011 26923193

Price: Starting at INR 150 for a plate

Al Nawaz

It may not look like much, but the Chicken Dum Pukht Biryani here always succeeds in brightening up our day. While you’re at it, try the butter chicken and naan, too.

Where: 50 A, Abul Fazal Enclave {near Jamia Nagar Thaana}, New Friends Colony

Nearest Metro Station: Kalkaji Mandir

Contact011 26984544, 011 26984542

Price: Starting at INR 130 for a plate

Anand Restaurant

Featured image courtesy: Sonali Ahluwalia/Zomato

Featured image courtesy: Sonali Ahluwalia/Zomato

This hidden restaurant in the heart of CP has been whipping out delicious plates of biryani for 42 years. The interiors aren’t exactly inspiring, but try to not let the dinginess get to you. Just go for their selection of biryanis, our personal favourites being the keema and the egg. They serve a side of gravy with every biryani, along with a portion of onions dusted with masala and mint chutney.

Where: 15/96, Scindia House, Connaught Place {behind the petrol pump}

Nearest Metro Station: Rajiv Chowk

Contact: 011 23313349, 011 23313554

Price: Starting at INR 150 per plate

Madina Biryani Centre

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If you’ve checked out the street food scene at Zakir Nagar, you know how haphazard it can get. If you’re a fan of haleem, however, head straight for the Madina Biryani Centre. Their biryani merges the orange fragrant rice with the zesty haleem, something we have absolutely no problem withExpect spoonfuls of gravy-like biryani infused with morsels of mutton and onions.

Where: Zakir Nagar Main Rd, Zakir Nagar, Okhla

Nearest Metro Station: Okhla

Price: INR 30 for one plate

Kolkata Biryani House

Kolkata Biryani House offers some of the spiciest biryani in town. Available in chicken and mutton variants, it makes for a perfect meal for the hardcore non-vegetarian. Given the amount of street food available in this market, we’re sure you’ll find something to counter all the spices; some mishti doi, perhaps?

Where: No 49, Market 1, CR Park

Nearest Metro Station: Kalkaji Mandir

Contact: 011 41749595

Price: Starting at INR 380 for one portion

Photos : Radhika Agarwal