-Swathi Prabhu (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ambur is a significant place for Biryani. Anyone who is passing the Chennai – Bangalore highway, wouldn’t forget to stop here for a plate. It’s common for people here to have Briyani as their breakfast. Ruled by Nawab, Ambur region’s actual nawabi cusisine which was exclusive to the royal family had slowly got democratized to common man.
It all started with Hasin Baig, who is said to have cooked in the kitchens of the Arcot Nawabs. He brought what was once the food of the royals to the common man by opening a restaurant in his hometown, Ambur. His rich and flavourful biryani became popular in town.
Hasin Baig’s son Khurshid baig began selling his father’s famous recipe in the town bazar and named it Khurshid Hotel Nazeer Ahmed, Khurshid Baig’s son in law opened Rahamaniya Briyani in the bazaar, both of these outlet is still present today. Munner Ahmed and Anees Ahmed followed his family legacy and thus the journey of Star Biryani started.
Star biyani is unique because it’s passed from generation to generation, says Anees Ahmed who manages the Chennai, Madurai, Pondicherry wing of restaurants “The flavour has been the same from my great grandfather till today. It’s because the master has been trained under one roof and been sent to other branches be it to our own outlet or to the franchises.” When asked why there is always craze for the ambur biryani he said it is not like other biryani its like homestyle. “Whatever goes into the biryani is freshly made and healthy one too, they all bought fresh daily. Every single product is authentic and we beleive in self-reliance. We still use traditional methods of ‘ammi’ to grind the ginger garlic pastes and even the curd which we use for our accompoloshments are made from our own dairy”, he says. Anyone who had attempted the Hyderabadi or North Indian briyani, would find it different as there is no basmati rice used but only the Seeraga Sambha rice variety, a local ingredient is used.
The next generation which is actually the fifth generation is entering the business with more up to date knowledge. With a hotel management degree in hand, they have studied about this business and are planning to bring more technologies and latest trends into the business with that said there won’t be any change in the Biryani taste or the kitchen technique, that will remind the same. “We always give priority to our customers as per their suggestion. We even plan to open our outlet after some research from our side. That’s how we have planned two outlets opening this month in Bengaluru.”
Star biriyani works on a central kitchen concept which starts functioning as early as 5am and by 11, the shops will get the Hot fresh Biryani from the woodfire. When asked about how star biryani holds the same place for the biryani lovers despite competition, he answers that all others might do it as business but he does it out of passion which was passed to us.
While currently they have 40 branches all over south India they are expanding in more locations including Bengaluru.