BY ROBIN GHOSH
ECONOMIST , PRESIDENT OF SHANTINIKETAN SOCIETY FOR YOUTH EMPOWERMENT)
KOLKATA, 23 FEBRUARY 2023:
Biriyani has many variance. We have Lucknowi Biryani, Hyderabadi Biryani, Kolkata Biryani and more. Biriyani is a money spinner. Zomato, the food aggregator, reported receiving orders of 186 Biryanis per every single minute. Swiggy, another food aggregator, indicated 137 Biryanis were ordered every minute.
( Kolkata Mutton Biryani)
Kolkata Biryani is unique. It is different from Awadhi origins. The presence of aloo (potato) makes the distinction. The Kolkata Biryani is a dish where the meat and the potatoes are slow cooked on low heat. The uncooked rice, the meat and the potatoes are then layered in a Handi. Spices such as cardamom, mace, saffron, cloves and sweet attar are added.
Under the Dumpukht method the Handi is sealed and then cooked. Sometimes eggs are also included in the rice along with the meat and the potato.
Is Biryani, a north Indian narrative? Does South India have any love for this magic dish? Read this story:
Third generation restaurateur Biriyani Baron Nagasamy Satish Dhanabalan opened its 100th store having a 3000 sq.ft outlet in Salem. Having studied Hotel Management and MBA in Hospitality Dhanabalan has scripted and calibrated a unique strategy to develop the Biryani chain into the next level. His strategy is something which the ‘would be’ entrepreneurs in the food business should study and learn.
( Hilsa Biryani)
Dhanabalan believes that a central kitchen strategy is a practical and meaningful business model. At least 6 to 7 outlets are needed before one should think of launching in a new city. He rejects the concept of franchise and feels that the outlets must be owned by the promoter. He says “My strategy is totally retail. We serve Biryani on a banana leaf – we create a whole experience.”
On online delivery, Dhanabalan says “In 2019, just 20 percent of our sales came from delivery, now it is touching 35 percent – an increase of 11 percent.”
The positioning of the biryani chain calibrated by Dhanabalan focuses on the mass market and the price point is very important. The price of a plate should be between Rs. 250 – Rs. 350 depending on the location and the city.
The biryani business scenario in Kolkata is indeed good. There are at least 200 restaurants in Kolkata that serve Kolkata Biryani every day. It indeed occupies the culinary map of Kolkata. Here, you have the Kolkata Biryani with a large chunk of meat; there is the egg, the potato and the rice, all in one plate.
Suprobhat Ghoshal, co-founder of Your Easy Meal, an online food aggregator says “Biriyani is the hut of Bengal. We have created a special Meal Box delivering an economic version of Kolkata Biryani. Our promotional post in social media drew a huge response and we are placing the order to our Kitchen Partners to cook and deliver Home Cooked Biryani to our customers.”
( jackfruit Biryani)
Not only the non veg, mutton, chicken, hilsa biryanis are the top choices of most orders but even the vegan biryani market is also growing fast with orders like jackfruit biryanis.
The current market size of the organised players in the Biryani market is being estimated as Rs.3,000 crores and the estimated market growth is 20 % per annum.