Jan 21, 2009

Student Biryani

I think now it is official that Lahoris, despite all the struggles, could not come up with a successful biryani. I admit this with utmost distress that all the Lahori restaurants that have had biryani on their menu, haven't been able to go past a typical Pulao. It caused half of the Lahori population to misunderstand the true taste and potential of biryani and the other half to hate it. Biryani Express (sindhi recipe) first and now Student biryani from Karachi have jumped in to fill the gap. I am not sure about Biryani express, but Student biryani has been a perfect hit so far.


Take a trip to the fortress stadium and you will find Student biryani right next to the Joyland. They started in Lahore only a few months ago so the interior is new and tidy so far. It is even better than the ones in Karachi.

Student biryani is a variant of the Bombay biryani and therefore includes potatoes in the most tender, yet undamaged, form. Rice grains are soft but separate from each other, almost religiously following the definition of an ideal biryani. Taste is better than just good. You will begin to feel the aroma as soon as it is served and it will follow you even after you have left the restaurant. If you had it in lunch, Occasional belches will keep reminding you of the same aroma for the rest of the day, but that can be a bit annoying of course. My fellow readers who have been to Karachi or southern India will instantly recall the fragrance and the ones who have not been there will not be able to forget it.

Price range: Rs. 100-200
Cleanliness: Good

46 comments:

  1. ... and the student biryani is the spiciest rice based dish around.

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  2. photo looks yummy :) ... I visited fortress few weeks back and I saw this shop and the first thing that came to my mind was that I must tell u about it. Good you found it yourself :)

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  3. The taste is absolutely bad. I don't think its actually the Karachi's Student Biryani.

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  4. Hey, nice blog! Do you reckon that this Student Biryani is better than what Biryani Express offers? I'm a fan!

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  5. I think its more to do with the punjabi not being a big fan of such clustered spices being used in BIRYANI... I am not a big fan of Biryani either due to so much Garam Masala, Potatoes, Onions which i end up separating out... but PULAO Rocks and i remember couple of good places in RWP, ISL of Baba jee and Sewer Pulao.. not sure if we have any comparable place in lahore ..

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  6. Punjabi not being a fan of spices? Nahin bhai, we love spices!

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  7. Adeel, Saadia: in my opinion, generalizing all the Punjabi taste buds won't be a good idea. A huge population in Punjab has not acquired the biryani taste just yet. So Adeel's reaction is understandable .. it is exactly like how we reacted to the chinese soup about 20 years ago.

    Riz: i have noticed a difference too. but I won't at all use the word 'bad'. Plus the logo and brand name is exactly the same as Karachi's .. so the outlet being fake will be quite hard to believe. They can definitely work on making it consistent.

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  8. Aqeel,Adeel and Saadia, I will be visiting Karachi and Lahore in a week or so, and I will try both places and post my review once I am back home.
    As I am married to a Larki from Karachi, and me being a True Lahori Punjabi, I can tell you from personal experience, Lahoris are the only ones with true desi taste buds.
    -Rafi

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  9. Well, doesn't look too spicy in picture. I will give it a try when i will go to Lahore next time. But Savor Palao is a real blessing in Islo.

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  10. I am loving this blog...just read the first page and now gonna read your archives.

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  11. we develope tastes over a stretch of a lifetime. to me we inherit likings and dislikings from our ancestors. i have seen pathans disliking biryani, karahi and all other such things with a little bit of tender spice in it. on the otherhand i have seen them eating chapal, mota ghosht / beef, namkeen cooked in salt only.
    flavours too have geographical boundaries.

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  12. I am so happy to see that Student Biryani has spread its wings ... for someone who grew up on it, I am so happy that others are also appreciating it :)

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  13. Well i think that Biryani rocks...its much better tasting then the Pulaos be it yakhnee or kabulee..nothing can ever come close to beating the taste

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  14. Hi Ahmad,
    I wanted to contact you because I host an online cooking show called Kitchen Caravan - http://www.kitchencaravan.com. We were going to do an episode on refreshing drinks from Lahore, and wanted to collaborate with your blog. We were thinking of using the traditional recipes for Thandais and Lassis, and "localizing" them with ingredients we have here in the United States. Let us know if you suggest another refreshing drink, and if you would like to help us by submitting a photo or short essay for our Cooking Show Page.

    Thanks!
    Sophia

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  15. Please email me at Sophia@kitchencaravan.com!

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  16. Hey ...Pics looks Cool...a Drooling one in true sense! Its exactly looks like a Bangaloori Biryaani or some what relates/looks like Hyderabadi one ;)

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  17. a very gud blog...briyani express was quite gud when they hit the mkt in 2002-3 but later on when they expanded rather they followed mcdonalds line i guess :) there is briyani express at evry turn u turn, they lost thier taste n quality...as for student briyani...yes its amazing n yes there is no place in lhr which can make gud briyani...now student briyani has another outlet near seasons chowk n barkat mkt...btw there chargha is also amazing esp the imli sauce they serve with it...the mint sauce is also way too gud...n btw ppl here in lhr have thie very wrong concept of calling deghi briyani served at weddings as the 'briyani'...its just a variation of pulao...

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  18. Just discovered your blog - A wonderful idea, and the best part for me is that you rate the cleanliness and affordability.
    I most often do not eat street food just because of hygiene scares, but I love the classics just as much as the next person.

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  19. Karachites Dont have Taste buds yo!!! i have seen them all the [laces of world whereever they live they stick to thier same NON-SPICY food where as Lahori's .....oye Lahori khaaba di gal kya haye !!!!

    LAHORI'Z EXHIBIT THE TRUE MEALS OF PAKISTAN

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  20. That looks delicious! And I love all the bright colours, yumy!

    So glad you and your family got the try that crazy-easy fudge and it was a hit! :)

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  21. Someone who wrote this blog must have a complex with lahori people because what he or she doesn't understand that taste and food is what lahore famous for, and people adapt the culture that gets developed in Lahore, Student Biryani or any other restaurants do come to Lahore and get popular for a year or so but they can't keep up the quality and service what we get in Lahore.

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