Chicken Biryani at Masala Zone – guest blog by my friend Laura

Chicken biryani at Masala ZoneLaura’s Disclaimer

I am no Indian cookery expert. I follow where Poornima & Kunda lead – if they tell me it’s good then I like it. I love Indian food, and invites round to the Saini-Kirloskar house are always accepted, never refused….especially when my husband wants to “be sociable” with her husband…..

Laura’s review

In honour of Poornima’s quest to find the perfect biryani, when we went out for a team lunch to Masala Zone recently I ordered the Chicken Biryani – I did not hold out high hopes as discussion before the food arrived centred around the fact that some of the team (more regular customers than I) were sure that the food was cooked somewhere else and brought to each restaurant pre-prepared. Mmmm, was starting to get anxious about my choice.

However, I was pleasantly surprised. I got a really lovely looking plate of a chicken biryani dome, some raita & some dal. The biryani was really moist, lots of lovely onions, succulent chicken but NO potatoes. Most importantly, I could take the coriander garnish off easily – have I mentioned my pathological hatred of coriander? It can cause a few problems with Indian food as everything, and I mean everything, comes with coriander. And waiters look at you strangely if you ask for them to take it out….

The dal was quite spicy, it had a nice kick to it and the raita was ok, but featured my least favourite food (did I mention coriander already…?) so I didn’t eat much of it.

All in all, a surprisingly good meal. Here is my biryanometer…

Rice Grain separation – 4/5

Meat/veg harmony – 3.5/5

Spice blend perfection – 3/5 could have been spicier

Potatoes – NONE

Fried Onion Finish – 4/5 good

Wet/Dry Index – not really sure what this means but I enjoyed the textures so must rate a 4/5

Overall – Pass!

Not sure whether this is because I really enjoyed it as a stand-alone excellent Indian, or whether my expectations were really low and so I was pleasantly surprised. Still, not a bad effort, Masala Zone….