The World’s Best Mutton Biryani
Forget the Ajanta-Ellora Caves, travel to Aurangabad to eat Mustafa’s Mutton Biryani instead. Never have I ever eaten such succulent, well-marinated, intensely flavorful, perfectly spicy, not-too-oily biryani before.
Okay, so yes, I am a foodie. I absolutely adore food, especially Indian food and especially Mutton Biryani. Whilst I was in India, my cousin’s father’s best friend’s uncle recommended “Mustafa Ki Biryani” for some solid, stomach-hurting, toilet-succumbing biryani. Having been deprived of meat for over a week, there was no way in hell I was going to pass over this glorious opportunity. We called to place our order and learnt that the minimum amount of biryani we could order was 1 kg. This is good enough for 6 to 8 fully grown men, or about 15 average sized, health-conscious, “zero-figure” aspiring women (being realistic, not sexist). The pickle was that there were only 4 non-vegetarians at home, but my hunger was non-negotiable. We have freezers for a reason and good food never goes to waste.
At 8pm, the driver, the cousin and my ravenous body started our journey to Mustafa’s. We drove to Aurangabad’s City Chowk Police Station, parked our car on a random road and then walked a couple of blocks to this crowded street that had shops end to end on both sides. We were told to give codename: Mustafa to the Al Manzil Corner Store, who’s shop owner than directed us over to this hidden alleyway (or “galli”) through this tiny opening adjacent to his shop. As soon as we entered this dark alley, the smell of freshly cooked rice in rich Indian spices, gushed into our nostrils. We no longer needed directions. We dodged a couple of large “bhagonas” or utensils placed on burning pieces of wood, and finally reached a location that a reasonable Indian could fully deduce to be Mustafa’s. We paid Rs. 680 (about 20 dollars) for 6 meals worth of food. And once that transaction was done, Mustafa himself greeted us with a large smile, pulled over a humongous utensil that had a kilo of biryani solely prepared for us, and asked “Phoil ya Dabba?” We settled on the Aluminum-foil-in-plastic-bag option and headed back to our car. The journey back home was torturous. The car was filled with this savoring aroma and I must have swallowed my rapidly-forming spit over a dozen times before we finally reached home. I ran straight to the kitchen, took the largest plate I could find, dumped as much of the biryani as I could on my plate, didn’t even bother to wash my hands or take a spoon, and buried my fingers into the most delicious meal my stomach has ever had the fortune of digesting. We ate like kings in the most caveman-like fashion possible and burped loudly when we could swallow no more. It was beautiful.
“Mustafa Ki Biryani” is no restaurant. They only cook according to the amount of food ordered. Apparently, they also serve good Mutton curries. They are cheap and delicious. So, if you ever go to Aurangabad, your best bet is to pick up some biryani from Mustafa’s, head to the Ajanta-Ellora caves and then devour the biryani there. Enjoy.
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