Biryani is a nationwide favourite. So many people follow the motto 'when in doubt, order biryani!' A fusion of multicoloured basmati rice, exotic spices, masalas, vegetables, different varieties of meat and thick gravy is how one would describe biryani. And frankly, what's not to like, right? It is a whole meal without having to cook multiple dishes.
The common human tendency to mix and match in order to create something new has been seen since the beginning of time. While some of the inventions failed, others went off the charts and became essentials in the lives of people all over the world.
Everybody knows that Goa and fish go hand in hand. Likewise, Porvorim houses a unique culinary invention of Fish Biryani that has definitely made its way to the list of successful food inventions that make people drool! The initial thought is usually the same, 'fish and biryani?' what an odd combination!
But, if you are brave enough to try pineapple on pizza and love it, rest assured, just one morsel later, you are sure to change your mind about Fish Biryani.
The 21st century invited a small new restaurant to town. Standing at the very same location where it started, ‘Biryani Palace’ is an idea that Dinesh Cheerassery manifested and brought to life.
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
Dinesh came to Goa 36 years ago with very little money and a heart full of hope. The concept of a place that exclusively focuses on selling biryani originated in his mind in 1991, but finally came into existence in the year 2000. Today, the family restaurant has been passed down and is run by his son, Aadith Cheerassery.
Aadith and his father share a close bond. “I remember having late night conversations with Dad, which would go on up to 5 am. I was still in school at the time, but I vividly remember how he would tell me so many stories that I would listen to in awe. He has always been a simple man. His only inspiration and goal in life was to create a comfortable life for us and to do better, so that we would not have to experience the hard way of life like he was compelled to,” said Aadith.
The first few years of the business were very difficult, but over time, the business has picked off well. The name ‘Biryani Palace’ was chosen solely because of the vision that Dinesh had for his restaurant.
“It’s a small place, I know. But, in our hearts, it is nothing short of a palace. There is not a day that we do not feel the love and support that our customers show us and our food. We are eternally grateful to everyone that makes Biryani Palace what it is today,” explained Aadith.
Although, the pandemic did affect sales, Aadith still managed to retain all the staff of team Biryani Palace. “Our staff members are like extended family,” he added.
You can spot this eatery in Porvorim by the palace-like arc that it has at its entrance.
FEAST LIKE A KING
In terms of quantity, just like its name suggests, Biryani Palace will serve you king-sized portions. Using his own family recipe, Dinesh curated the menu of Biryani Palace that has a variety of 25 different Biryanis which include Prawn Biryani, Basa Fish Biryani, Squid Biryani, Kingfish Biryani, Seafood Biryani and more.
Besides fish, they also cater to meat lovers and vegetarians with their Chicken Biryani, Mutton Biryani, Paneer Biryani, Mushroom Biryani and their latest addition known as ‘Special Veg Biryani’ which was specially designed for people who were following the practice of Shravan in Goa.
The ‘Special Veg Biryani is different because it is a combination of mushroom, paneer, vegetables and fried potato or brinjal, all in one biryani.
Besides biryani, the restaurant also serves an innovative set of starters called ‘Fish 2020’ and ‘Prawn 2020’ which got their names because they joined the menu in the year 2020.
“This experience is very close to our hearts. During the shooting of the movie Kabali, which starred Rajnikanth, his team ordered biryani from Biryani Palace almost every day! I used to go and deliver the food, personally. For his birthday in May, Rajnikanth himself requested his team to order biryani from us, which was to be distributed to his crew. We sold 660 plus biryanis that day!” recalls Aadith.
Aadith is filled with emotion as he recalls another incident, about how every year, in August, he gets an international phone call from a kind lady who resides in Dubai. She coordinates with Biryani Palace to order biryani in bulk, to be delivered to an orphanage in Goa.
“It is heart-warming to be a part of this kind gesture. I think I've gotten this trait from my dad. We love feeding people and it gives us a dopamine rush when we see customers relish our food,” he added.
The story that Dinesh has shared is admirable, and the hard work and determination that Aadith shows as he shoulders his father's dream is truly inspiring. So, if you do find yourself in Porvorim, looking for a flavourful meal and regal service, do try Biryani Palace.
MUST TRY: Basa Fish Biryani, Chicken Biryani, Special Veg Biryani
PRICE RANGE: ₹170 - ₹480
LOCATION: BB Borkar Road, Opp PWD Water Tank, Alto–Porvorim, Goa
TIMINGS: 11.30 pm to 4 pm & 6 pm to 11 pm (Closed on Thursdays)
CONTACT: +91 9326138274