ISO Mughlai Biryani

Where can I find a really good Mughlai biryani in Los Angeles? Not something made from a spice packet.

Thank you.

Dilliwala in Diamond Bar for Delhi style Northern Indian. Not LA, but in LA County. :plate_with_cutlery:

I go there pretty often since I live in DB, best bet is to make reservations before going. It is almost always busy there

Good intel. Thank you both.

I think Biriyani Kabob House may have the best in LA proper. There are also several biriyani specialists in Little India, which seems to be a new frontier for most LA foodies.

Paradise Biryani Point. One in Artesia, another in Canoga Park.

“A really good” biryani = knowing someone who will invite to you their house the next time they make it. :wink:

Restaurant biryanis here never compare to the biryani you see in India because so many restaurants take shortcuts (mixing curry with rice and calling it biryani, making batches and then reheating it in the microwave, etc). It’s not like in India where the shopkeeper starts his signature biryani at 4am and cooks it for hours over low coals and when he runs out, he closes up shop.

You can find an OK version in a restaurant here, but nothing that will wow you.


1 Like

I mean that’s pretty much how Zam Zam does it, and their biryani is unparalleled IMO

1 Like

Out of curiosity, what differentiates Mughlai Biryani?

I’m not sure it qualifies, but the vegetable biryani at Zafran Pot in Culver City is very good. Be sure to order it “extra masala spicy.” Definitely a step up from the other places in the area.

But they make Pakistani style biryani. It’s good, for a restaurant biryani, but it’s a specific style/type from a neighboring country. It’s like saying you want a Cali/San Diego style burrito, and someone tells you about this great Sonoran style burrito place. It’s a great burrito, but it’s not the same style, not from the same country you are looking for.

Biryani is actually one of my favorite foods, but I’m also lucky enough to know how to make a decent one. My mom used to do Indian catering from our house years ago when I was growing up, and I was her sous chef (translation: potato peeler and veggie chopper). But I learned how to cook Indian food from her. Plus I’m surrounded with some amazing cooks in my family, including an aunt who makes the best biryani I’ve ever had. She actually opened up an Indian restaurant years ago because everyone told her her food was so good. She’s since sold the place and retired, but she still cooks big vats of food for all of us and doles it out! Biryani freezes well, for anyone wondering. :wink:


Talk about a loaded deck…:+1:

1 Like

very few shopkeepers in india start their signature biryanis at 4 am and cook it for hours over low coals. most biryanis there are made with shortcuts too (though they’ll put the finished biryani into a clay pot and seal it with dough before bringing it out)–it’s just that they start with a much higher baseline of ability. and there are many genres of biryani in india. the “raw rice and meat cooked together” family is just one type. layering (par)cooked rice with curry and cooking it further is a legitimate style of biryani.

that said, i do agree that biryanis in homes are always better–even in india. it’s not a dish that makes sense as a made-to-order dish.

i am also curious to know what a “mughlai style biryani” is.

i should add that this is not meant to be a “gotcha” question. i’m genuinely curious. does mughlai biryani refer to hyderabadi or awadhi or other similar styles that were dispersed throughout india in the latter part of the mughal period or is this a reference to a particular restaurant style?

you’re making me remember the 4 years of childhood in Uzbekistan with scenes like this… (plov not biriani…but same shit dif language)


Plov! Great stuff. Would love to visit Samarkand one day.

1 Like

From what I understand one of Mughlai Biriyani’s defining characteristics is its well-seasoned sizable chunks of meats, as well as use of aromatic spices (i.e. saffron and cardamom).

While other types of biryani also have meats, most are not as well-seasoned as Mughlai Biriyani. For example Hyderabadi Biriyani focuses the seasoning on its rice (not the meats), Awadhi Biryani uses boiled meats which are as a result naturally less seasoned, Dindigul Biryani has much smaller cubes of meat and tends towards more use of citrus and tangy flavors, and then there are those biryanis that do not use meat at all, such as Tahari style biryani

1 Like

hmmm, i can’t say i recognize those descriptions of hyderabadi and awadhi biryanis. i’ve never had or encountered dindigul biryani so can’t speak to that. but almost all, if not all, biryanis use aromatic spices or saboot/whole garam masala, so that’s not a distinguishing feature. and most south indian and north indian biryanis are quite heavily spiced/seasoned: in kerala, biryani is basically a heavily spiced meat/chicken curry layered with cooked rice and cooked some more together.

anyway, i’m not sure what the source of your information is. i suspect “mughlai biryani” is just the name slapped onto a more generic heavily spiced north indian biryani of some kind or the other to make it sound fancier–in the way that “mughlai cuisine” has come to indicate a not very mughlai cuisine. but it’s a large country, and despite having eaten in a lot of it and in the homes of people from a lot of it, i can’t pretend to know anything more than a small fraction of what’s out there in it.

1 Like


That looks amazing. Please tell me there’s a place that makes this locally. :slight_smile:

Of course, you may be right. I’m just passing along what I was told by a friend of Indian descent.