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13.09.2017

Who needs adult colouring books, when eating biryani can be a legit hobby? A new Bangalore club tries to legitimize your rice vice by promising that you will also encounter new people. Hello, pot. Nice to meet you.

This delicious front, Biryani For Life, is run by Raj Keshavraj, techie at an e-commerce company and full-time gourmand. This club is an extension of the regular biryani hunts that he embarks upon every weekend. “Seven or eight years ago, I discovered a restaurant at the end of Brigade Road that served over twelve varieties of biryani from across India. Unfortunately, this little kitchen had an uneventful life and a brief run.” It is to try and save places like these, that Raj has decided to launch Biryani For Life, a platform to hunt and gather yes, but also to spread the word about the best biryani in Bangalore.

Have A Blast-mati

Biryani For Life meets once a month, and table reservations are made according to the RSVPs received and a minimal advance payment of Rs 100. This prompts Raj to tell us that if he could be at any table right now, he would be at Nagarjuna’s, eating his favourite kind of biryani – a spicy Andhra version. And his least favourite? “It might be Meghana’s,” says Raj, possibly stirring up something.

A new Bangalore club tries to legitimize your rice vice by promising that you will also encounter new people. Hello, pot. Nice to meet you.

For their first outing this month, the bir-annies and annas headed to Broadway Gourmet Theatre in HSR Layout, to sample steamed rice cooked inside a bamboo shell. “None of the seven people who signed up had tasted anything like it,” Raj says. But is the process of selecting the venue and type of biryani democratic? “For the moment, it’s semi autocratic. I select the type of rice and create a list of restaurants to match. And we finally take a group vote to zero in on the venue.”

At The Press Of A Mutton 

Raj, who has successfully sired two more active hobby groups - the Whitefield Happy Club and the Sunday Club – tells us that the Biryani For Life member count has already touched one hundred. “In its first month!” Eventually, Raj would like to start hosting biryani cookouts via the club, because “everyone has a family recipe they like to cook, one that highlights their culture, quirks and improvisations”.

Our version includes a home pot filled with Donne biryani snuck into our kitchens from Shivaji Military Hotel. “Wars could be fought over it,” we say, with a dreamy look in our eyes. “You fit right in,” Raj tells us, patting an empty seat at the Biryani For Life table. Member count: 101.

Getting there: Sign up here to join Biryani For Life and find more details on their Facebook page.

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Food & Drink