Treasure trove of innovative biryanis in the capital - The Daily Guardian
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Treasure trove of innovative biryanis in the capital

A good biryani can soothe both the stomach and the heart, and Delhi-NCR is now home to plenty of them. With the lockdown giving rise to more cloud kitchens and innovation in regional cuisine, biryani lovers in the capital can have every variety of the dish between Lucknow and Hyderabad on their plates now.



For some of us, the word ‘biryani’ takes us to another world. A good biryani is a meal that is satisfying in every possible way since it ignites all our senses, especially if eaten by hand in a traditional way. Being a traveler since childhood, pilafs and biryanis in different geographical locations have been a staple as these are some of the safest, nutritious and wholesome things to consume on the go. Some of those biryanis have been truly memorable and their taste has stayed with me forever.

Delhi has never boasted of a fabulous biryani (and rightfully so) because so far there hasn’t been much to boast of really. We’ve always drooled over the delicate and aromatic Lucknowi or Kolkata biryani or the full-bodied and amazing Hyderabadi, Ambur or Malabari biryani or the flavourful Bombay, Saoji, Memoni or Sindhi biryani. In the capital city, our choices for a good biryani are limited to a few players with none that one could write home about—till now.

The pandemic has not only brought a boom in the cloud kitchen space, but it has also turned the city into a hub of innovation for passionate foodies. We are witnessing an unprecedented variety at this time and I am pleasantly surprised by both the way in which innovation is happening in the F&B space and the way people are taking to it!

While I love a good, traditional Kolkata or Ambur biryani, which I never miss when I’m travelling to those cities, I am quite impressed and taking to the new, innovative biryanis that the capital city now has to offer. Here are my picks:

The Laal Maas Biryani by chef Sahil Singh at his new venture called Chef Singh is doing a variety of absolutely stunning biryanis like the Ghee Roast Biryani, the Chicken 65 Biryani, the Laal Maas Biryani and the Rogan Josh Biryani. However, my picks are the amazing Laal Maas Biryani, which packs a punch with the taste of all the flavours of the rice and spices along with that of the traditional Rajasthani dish, and the Ghee Roast Mutton Biryani, which gives me a taste of Mangalore. Both are distinctly different and full-bodied dishes with lots of spices and flavours. The latter is made by using long grain basmati chawal cooked on dum, layered with chicken cooked in the Mangalorean ghee roast masala, flavoured with tempered curry leaves and chillies, and the former is a typical Rajasthani spicy and hot laal maas prepared with yogurt, Mathania chillies and lots of garlic, layered with long grain basmati rice. It is then finished with dhungar, an ancient technique of smoking and infusing the flavour of burnt charcoal smoke into a dish. Both these biryanis are spicy and hot too, and go best with a tomato or cucumber raita since there’s a lot of onion in the biryani already.

The Zafrani Mutton Biryani by Sanjana Adhlakha is an aromatic, light biryani made with Golden Sela rice instead of the basmati as it was made traditionally by her mother. She says, “The method of layering includes zaffran milk and mutton curry along with the rice. The yellow colour in the biryani comes almost entirely from the kesar and not food colouring. This is what makes this dish so special.” The best part about this zaffrani biryani is that the flavours take me back to the taste of the amazing pilafs, sans the dried fruits, of the Mediterranean which I had during my growing up years.

Apparently, Delhi does have a ‘real’ Mughlai-style biryani, unlike what we have been used to eating at various outlets across the country who only claim to serve ‘authentic’ Mughlai cuisine. The use of saalan and achaar masala or jeera is a big turn-off and these are what Delhi biryanis have been about so far. Shibli Anees’ venture Delhi 6 has been working with age-old recipes and their Mughlai Mutton Dum Biryani with ghee and zaffran is the best thanks to its taste, aroma, cut of meat, texture and overall experience. “We strictly follow the traditional style of biryani making, which involves using special meat cuts, cooking rice and meat separately, and finally cooking them together by forming layers of each in a vessel. Then it’s kept on dum, which involves sealing the vessel thoroughly and keeping the lid closed to trap in the aroma. The biryani is then cooked over slow fire or dum. We strictly avoid using any kind of achaar masala or saalan with our biryani. Last but not the least, basmati rice, zaffran and desi ghee are used for biryani preparation with some amounts of fatty meat pieces to bring out the real flavours and texture.” On asking him how he managed to get such authentic tastes, Shibli adds, “Not only do we have a team of khandani bawarchis, we have also tied up with some wonderful women home chefs of Old Delhi who make food for our establishment.” It looks like Delhi might get to boast about having its own biryani finally!

Another beautiful North Indian biryani is the one that Harangad Singh does—a mean Nalli Biryani, which is a popular Mughlai dish that explodes with flavour and spices. Nalli nihari is one of the authentic Mughlai curries and is one of the signature dishes at Parat. When cooked with basmati rice on dum it becomes a dish with a deliciously eclectic blend of flavours, spices and aromas. This innovative, new recipe by Harangad, which uses nalli botis, is a real treat since part of the marrow flows into the rice and gives it a buttery taste, making it melt in the mouth. Even though it’s a little dry as compared to other biryanis and they don’t serve it with an accompaniment like a saalan or raita, it tastes good as it is and the meat works brilliantly as well.

The Saoji Chicken Biryani is an innovation by Neha Patil and falls under the Maharashtrian biryani category, which calls out to be ordered again and again. Being a mutton-eater, I was slightly wary about a chicken biryani, but the flavours left me very pleasantly surprised. The basmati rice blends beautifully with the coconut, patthar ke phool, pipli, saunf and other ingredients which give it all its goodness. These flavours are absorbed beautifully by the chicken and the stock used adds to the taste. As Neha says, “The biryani is made with authentic home-ground Maharashtrian spices to give it the authentic taste of Saoji Chicken. I choose chicken over mutton because chicken gets blended with the spices and the gravy well.” There’s no yogurt or tomatoes so that the flavours are not tangy, and so a good raita as an accompaniment completes this one.

There are some fabulous biryani joints in the south of India too, with Chennai topping the list for me. It is where a huge variety of biryani is available and the biryanis at even the regular or local joints do not disappoint. The flavours are immense, the meat is tender, and the accompanying onion raita is delicious. One really needs nothing else for a complete meal. The best part is that the variety moves beyond chicken and mutton to other kinds of fowl, rabbit, fish and prawn biryanis! The accompaniment is usually an onion raita, which goes really well with the spice quotient.

The Malabar Mutton Biryani recipe of Appum House by Gaurav Sahai is the gem in their crown which they prepare only for special orders. It is a biryani which brings back all the nostalgia from my growing up years in Sri Lanka. I’m a big fan of the Malabar Mutton Biryani, whichis a non-vegetarian delicacy from the Malabar region of Kerala and is very popular among biryani lovers. The rice used is the Jeerakasala rice from Kerala, followed by a fresh homemade biryanimasala paste with cinnamon, cardamom, green chillies, fennel and peppercorn. “The mutton is separately prepared with this masala paste till it’s cooked to tenderness. The biryani is cooked in dum, flavoured with whole spices, salt, cashew, raisins, and once done, the rice is layered with the cooked mutton and then flavoured with saffron milk to get an amazing flavour,” says Gaurav. The best part about the biryani is that it is wrapped in a potli made of a banana leaf and cooked, which, when opened, fills the room with an amazingly spicy aroma. I’m glad that I found this one!

The Kolkata biryani is meant to be light and non-spicy. It is an offshoot of the Lucknowi biryani with the addition of the aloo (potato) and deem (egg). The biryani is slow-cooked with layers of meat, aloo and rice. So, serving the biryani becomes an art and ‘cutting’ the biryani is an essential component while serving. Unless the white rice on top is mixed with the masala and meat at the bottom, the desired taste and satisfaction cannot be achieved while eating. A traditional Kolkata biryani doesn’t require an accompaniment: the rice syncs well the cooked meat and juices that make the biryani moist and hence doesn’t require anything else with it.

The Raan and Kolkata Mutton Biryanis by Arghyadip of Pet Puraan are worth a mention. These have finally managed to tickle the senses of the Bengali in me, bringing back the nostalgia of the real Kolkata biryani, with the aloo and deem and mildly spiced meat, which is not falling off the bone but has a bite to it. The rice is light and fluffy, making it one that can be ordered and eaten many times each month. This biryani can well become a staple and doesn’t have to be ordered only on special occasions. The raan biryani is available only on special order for bigger gatherings and this biryani may well be an excuse for having one of those!

For someone who loves a good biryani, these picks of mine can be a real treat after ages. I am thankful to the pandemic for a few reasons, one of which is the innovation we are seeing in the F&B industry now and the creativity of chefs across all genres—and all these wonderful biryanis are definitely here to stay.

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Lifestyle & Entertainment

Navigating Depression: 4 Activities to Make you Want to Get out of Bed



Navigating the symptoms of depression is a formidable challenge that takes more than just medication and therapy. It demands every ounce of willpower, inner strength, and courage one possesses to get out of bed and greet the sunshine when all you want to do is bury yourself under the sheets.To fight this complicated and multifaceted battle, it is important to surround yourself with a powerful support system governed by your family and friends. Research reveals that minor modifications to one’s daily diet, lifestyle, and habits can work wonders at fighting off despair and fatigue.Depression drains our energies and deprives us of our will to lead a happy, healthy life. And that’s exactly how you can beat it: reclaiming your life, energies, happiness, and resolve to be healthy and happy.Read on to explore meaningful activities and habits that will make you want to get out of bed and have a fulfilling day.

1.    Sweat off the Sadness

It’s hard to channel your inner workout warrior when your biggest life struggle is getting out of bed and taking a shower. The suggestion that you should exercise may seem like a horrible joke given your current state of mind, but sweating off the sadness truly helps.Clinical studies suggest that going for a walk or engaging in any form of physical activity is as effective as antidepressants and other medications designed to treat depression symptoms. In fact, regular exercise elevates energy levels and prevents depressive episodes from reoccurring.Depression encourages us to give in to the exhaustion and stay curled up under layers of sheets. We suggest claiming small victories, like a stroll to your favorite coffee joint or a walk around the park, to rebuild your stamina and improve your mood. Consider signing up for fun dance classes, yoga sessions, or another workout that you find genuinely enjoyable.

2.    Fight Back for Things you Love

The symptoms of depression push us away from every activity and hobby that adds meaning or pleasure to our lives. Artists struggle to paint again, adventurers lose interest in nature trails, and musicians can’t seem to hold their beloved instruments again.Fighting back for the things and activities you love is imperative to reclaim your personality. Indulging in meaningful and constructive pleasures will help you fill up your daily routine with activities that allow you to reconnect with your real self.For instance, nature enthusiasts can join a hiking group to explore nearby state parks and trails. Likewise, high-rollers can relive the nostalgia of blackjack spreads and gaming slots at a casino online. Artists should consider an art retreat, and makeup enthusiasts must brighten up their social calendars with fun-packed events that give them opportunities to dress up and socialize. Indulging yourself in activities that you loved before depressive symptoms began emerging is constructive and effective. It will help uplift your mood, increase energy levels and motivate you to fight back against depression-induced fatigue and despair.

3.    Connect with Mother Nature

The therapeutic powers of Mother Nature have given birth to innumerable therapies, including forest therapy, adventure therapy, therapeutic farming, and animal-aided interventions. Studies suggest that simply walking through a beautiful natural landscape helps alleviate the symptoms of clinical depression.Spending more time in the wilderness will help improve your mood, energy levels, and cognitive abilities. Plan fun picnics in your local state park, go hiking with your friends or plan a camping adventure with your family. Connecting with nature will help you soak up vitamin D, serenity, and nature-induced happy endorphins.

4.    Scribble Away the Hopelessness

Patients struggling with depression are overwhelmed by feelings of despair, hopelessness, and lack of motivation. As Gotye describes it, one can get addicted to a certain kind of sadness, and fighting this state of mind isn’t easy.Psychologists and therapists worldwide advise journaling to find a powerful way to express one’s feelings and emotions. Scribbling away the hopelessness will promote acute awareness of your mood swings, symptoms, and triggers. It will also help you design practical strategies tofight these overwhelming feelings and moods.

Final Thoughts

When one feels shackled by desolation and sadness, even the smallest steps toward reclaiming your happiness have profoundly significant impacts. Clinical depression is increasingly complex and multifaceted, and patients need more than just therapy and medications. Surrounding yourself with the loving care and affection of your friends and family will work wonders at regaining your agency and feeling healthier. 

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Pippa trailer out, shows a glimpse of 1971 Indo-Pak war




Pippa, starring Ishaan Khatter and Mrunal Thakur, is set to open in theaters.The makers released the new trailer on the occasion of the nation’s 75th independence day. The movie is set against the backdrop of the 1971 Indo-Pak war.

Raja Krishna Menon has helmed the movie, and other actors, including Soni Razdan and Priyanshu Painyuli, will also be seen on screen with Ishan Khatter and Mrunal Thakur.

In the one-minute trailer, Shaan is seen portraying Brigadier Balram Singh Mehta, a former member of the 45th Cavalry Tank Squadron who fought for Bangladesh.

In a film full of strong emotions and brutal battle sequences, Ishaan plays a young military hero who commands soldiers to liberate then-Eastern Pakistan.The first scene of the warm drama strikes the perfect note with phrases like “Joy Bangla,” the well-known battle cry of the liberation war. Soni and Mrunal, who will be seen as Ishaan’s mother and sibling, respectively, were also given a brief appearance.

Ishaan posted the trailer on Instagram and said,  “PIPPA in cinemas December 2nd, 2022.On the momentous occasion of our country’s Independence Day – presenting a glimpse from a film we’ve collectively put our heart, gut and soul into. May our soil, our people and our culture be blessed always. It’s been an honour to represent the valour and bravery of our defence forces. More to come.”

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Amber hired Investigator to uncover bad things about Jhonny, deets inside



Jhonny depp And Amber

Last year, actor Johnny Depp prevailed in a slander lawsuit brought by his ex-wife, Amber Heard. Amber made various accusations against Johnny during the six-week trial, claiming that he had mistreated her both physically and mentally. Investigator Paul Baressi has confessed that Amber hired him to “discover nasty things about Johnny.”

Paul admitted to Law and Crime Network, “I collected all of these historic document on him (Johnny Depp). The home he used to live in, the places his father worked, just really great stuff. Amber hired me in the summer of July 2019. I searched on every rock, every stone, all over the world to find out bad things about Johnny and we all came empty handed.”

He further added, ” She fired us. It was not until April of 2020, when I decided to share my time as a private detective with Amber. Johnny’s father was four years younger than his mother when they got married. He was a passive man and did not like confrontation. Johnny is just like his father, from what we have heard in court. However, the father let his mom call the shots rather than arguing.”

After dating for over three years, Johnny and Amber exchanged vows in a private ceremony at their Los Angeles home in 2015. Amber separated from Johnny in May 2016 and obtained a temporary restraining order against him. She said that during their relationship, Johnny had physically abused her, most frequently when under the influence of alcohol or drugs. On June 1, Amber was ordered to reimburse Johnny $10.35 million after he won his slander suit against her.

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‘Maybe bit too overstated emotionally, superficial politically’, Hansal Mehta reacts to Laal Singh Chaddha



Laal Singh Chaddha

The film Laal Singh Chaddha, starring Aamir Khan, has received mixed reviews from Hansal Mehta. The director acknowledged the effort put into developing the movie and stated that it deserved to be successful. He said that he found the movie to be a little too politically superficial.

Around midnight, Hansal posted on Twitter his thoughts after having watched Laal Singh Chaddha. He wrote, “Watched #LaalSinghChaddha. It is a very engaging film, made with passion and love. Maybe a bit too overstated emotionally and a bit superficial politically for my taste, but a film made with so much care, heart, and honesty. It deserves to succeed. So much to admire.”

He additionally said, “But the truth is I found myself either moist-eyed or smiling for a major part of the film. Go watch #LaalSinghChaddha. Stop spreading Malaria.”

The film Laal Singh Chaddha, which has been directed by Advait Chandan, is the authorised Hindi adaptation of Tom Hanks’ 1994 Hollywood classic Forrest Gump. Aamir Khan makes his comeback to the big screen with this movie, following the failure of Thugs of Hindostan in 2018. Kareena Kapoor, Mona Singh, and Naga Chaitanya all play significant roles in it as well.

However, the movie hasn’t yet received the anticipated response at the ticket counters. In the first three days after its release, it grossed almost 27.70 crore.

Aamir was the subject of a complaint on Friday for allegedly disparaging the Indian Army and offending Hindu feelings with the movie. In one of the scenes, Laal Singh Chaddha is asked by Pakistani staff, “I offer Namaz and pray, Laal, why don’t you do the same?” Laal responds, “According to my mum, the entire puja paath is malaria. It causes riots.” The way in which a mentally challenged person was permitted to enlist in the Indian Army and participate in the Kargil War in the movie has also drawn criticism.

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Zoya Akhtar’s ‘Kho Gaye Hum Kahan’ concludes shooting



Siddhant Chaturvedi

The shooting for ‘Kho Gaye Hum Kahan’ has come to an end. The movie is directed by Arjun Varain Singh and is scheduled to release in 2023.

Actor Siddhant Chaturvedi shared a heartfelt note for the cast and crew and thanked Zoya for the film.

Taking to his Instagram handle alongside the pictures Chaturvedi wrote, “and its a wrap! #KhoGayeHumKahan. We were young crazy, and restless. Fun, curious & a millennial mess. It’s a story about you & me, and we were just… A bunch a cool kids makin’ a film.”

Thanking director Zoya Akhtar Siddhant said, “Thank you @zoieakhtar @reemakagtil for the best filming experiences ever. @tigerbabyofficial @excelmovies Hail! @arjunvarain.singh Our Captn! My brother! Thank you for showing this mad faith in us. You’ve been strong & vulnerable in a timed beauty of its own.”

“My creative pillars @yashsahai and @sapanv. It wouldn’t have been possible without your Wit, Wohoos, and WTFs! My Co-stars and now friends for life @ananyapanday @gouravadarsh @kalkikanmani. I’ve only grown working alongside you both. You guys are freaking beautiful. And lastly to the whole Cast and Crew, Dadas and Dudes, and my core A-team @radhikamehta9 @gautam0099 @poonamsrv @sandeep.rasal82. Thank you guys, it was an honor,” Chaturvedi wrote.

‘Kho Gaye Hum Kahan’ is a story of three friends in the city of Bombay. The movie is written by Zoya Akhtar, Arjun Varain Singh, and Reema Kagti.

Meanwhile, the new age drama by Excel Entertainment stars Ananya Panday and Adarsh Gourav. Moreover, Arjun Varain Singh is making his directorial debut with this movie.

However, the 29-year-old actor will be next seen in the movie ‘Phone Bhoot’ alongside Katrina Kaif and Ishaan Khatter.

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Comedian Raju Srivastava’s condition is stable, says family; urges fans to ignore rumors



Raju Srivastava

Comedian Raju Srivastava who went through successful angioplasty following a heart attack is stable.

Raju Srivastava released a statement, “Dear all, Raju Srivastava Ji’s condition is stable. We are praying for his speedy recovery. The doctors are treating him and are doing their best. Thanks to all the well-wishers for their continued love and support. Please ignore any rumor/fake news being circulated. Please pray for him.”

Picture Credits: ANI

Comedian Raju Srivastava on Wednesday suffered from a heart attack after which he underwent angioplasty and now is on ventilator support. According to sources Raju is “responding to the treatment”.

Comedian Srivastava’s health deteriorated on Tuesday night after which he suffered from a heart attack.

Earlier on Wednesday, Comedian Sunil Pal said that Srivastava’s health is good now. He is recovering rapidly and will be home soon.

Meanwhile, just hours before Srivastava suffered a heart attack he shared a stand-up comedy piece on his Instagram. He mimicked a few veteran actors on information being spread on Covid-19 via caller tune on the phones.

However, Srivastava got recognition by participating in The Great Indian Laughter Challenge and Big Boss. He has done roles in films like Bombay to Goa, and Aamdani Atthanni Kharcha Rupaiya. Moreover, Srivastava is also the chairman of the Uttar Pradesh Film Division Board.

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