It’s great to see the eyes get lit up of the elderly gentleman from Trissur who runs Kerala Dum Biryani Place in Muscat, in the neighbourhood where I grew up in when I said that for the last two decades, his place has been a family favourite for Biryani after jumma prayers. He has been running the place since 1994, and charges a token of RO 1 (cheaper than places in Delhi and Mumbai) the cheapest wholesome dum Biryani around town. It runs out in 10 minutes of the eatery opening up for meals (he makes the Biryani in very limited quantity, a kind of boutique, limited edition sans the frills) and is a melting pot of cultures eating at the same place cutting across socioeconomic groups from a Pashtun Truck Driver to an Indian Accounts Executive. Muscat has these entire ecosystem of Kerala and Bangladeshi food eateries which are unknown and non branded, with obviously no social media footprint which are down right reasonable and great food. The English spoken is vernacular though, the way it should be. The food available in these places is Shwarma and Karak Chai to Porrotta and Curry to the Friday Biryani, a minor celebration of life in the low tide of life when the business is not the best.
The Biryani in Kerala and Southern Tamil Nadu is special. I wonder why it is not on the same list as Hyderabadi or Kolkata, in the pecking order of Biryani.