The Shiraz Nostalgia
Amongst all the golden memories of my college days in Kolkata, the one thing that consistently churns up is Shiraz Golden Restaurant in Circus Avenue, Park Circus. All our random parties or any special party for that matter (for example Holi, Diwali or even Durga Puja!) was necessarily powered by Mutton Biriyani, Chicken Chaap and Firni (an Indian Dessert made with milk and powdered Basmati rice with Saffron) from Shiraz. Each one of us would be handed over one packet of Mutton Biriyani each and one piece from the Chicken Chaap to start with… and would end with forever licking the spoons that scooped out the mildly aromatic Firni (a dessert) set in an earthen small pot! The same menu was repeated at every occasion when friends would meet and Mums would refuse to host a mini impromptu parties.
Even today when we go to Kolkata, the same menu from the same Shiraz is waiting either for us at some of our friends’ houses or at our Kolkata home for others who visit us!
Most of the Bengalis that I have met, associate Biriyani, specially the Mughlai cooking with the Lucknowy or the Awadhi style of cooking. Hence, as much as we love the various kinds of Biriyani – the Hyderabadi, the Sindhi, the Pakistani Biriyanis, our taste-buds still search for Shiraz’s Biriyani. Though there is no dearth of Indian restaurants in Dubai, there was definitely a dearth of Indian restaurants which could satiate the Mughlai food nostalgia for those who grew up in Kolkata.
Well, till Shiraz Golden Restaurant came to the shores of Dubai, all the way from Kolkata. Till then some dishes occurred only in my dreams. For example – the Kolkata Kathi Rolls! Or the Mughlai Parathas!