Hearty briyani cooked in bamboo

The restaurant’s bamboo briyani comes with a lot of rice, a generous portion of chicken with cucumber, papadum and acar on the side.

WHEN it comes to eating out, ever so often I end up going to restaurants or stalls that my friends frequent so these have become my preferred dining places.

But sticking to routine can be boring so for lunch one day, I made the effort to find an eatery I have not been to. After some research, I found something that tickled my fancy — a bamboo briyani spot in Puchong.

This is my go-to place for briyani when craving for the dish.

Kannaa’s Bamboo Masalla Briyani claims to serve authentic Indian briyani in bamboo.

Instead of the usual chicken or mutton briyani, I ordered prawn briyani for lunch.

The first taste was overwhelmingly spicy. After subsequent spoonfuls and visits, initial fears about the heat level was soon dispelled. I even got a hint of sweetness in the briyani.

One of my friends, who tried the fish briyani, told me that it was hardly spicy as the spices and herbs were well balanced in the dish. The proprietor Datuk Shanmuganathan Venugopal, 44, said it took him three months to come up with the “perfect” recipe for the bamboo briyani.

A waiter  tapping the bamboo to shake the  briyani onto the banana leaf. — Photos: LOW BOON TAT/The StarA waiter tapping the bamboo to shake the briyani onto the banana leaf. — Photos: LOW BOON TAT/The Star

“When I first started the restaurant in 2016 in Ipoh, we sold the usual items such as mixed rice and traditional Indian food.

“The inspiration to include briyani dishes at my restaurant came when I worked in Singapore.

“I tried a delicious bamboo briyani there and decided to come up with my own recipe for my restaurant,” he said.

Shanmuganathan said he used freshly made masala from India which was mixed with additional ingredients.

“The preparation for the briyani rice is the same but the chicken, mutton, prawn, fish and vegetarian chicken are cooked separately using different types of masala.

“The cooking process starts with combining 90% cooked rice and partially-cooked meat into the bamboo, which is then steamed for 30 minutes to get the perfect briyani dish,” he said.

When asked about the sweetness in the briyani, he said that this was due to the mixture of ingredients in his recipe.

He said he made some changes after taking into consideration a customer’s feedback, adding that the eatery’s bestseller was the chicken briyani.

Mutton, squid and vegetarian briyani are also available here.

The vegetarian briyani and chicken briyani are priced at RM11 and RM13 respectively, while the fish, prawn and mutton briyani cost RM16 each.

The highlight of the briyani is the way it is served. The waiter brings the steaming hot bamboo to the table, then taps on the bamboo using a piece of wood. By doing this, the ingredients in the bamboo falls onto the banana leaf.

There is a musical element when the waiter taps on the bamboo, and I found the experience fascinating.

I was amazed by the amount of rice that the bamboo could hold in addition to the generous portion of meat or seafood with a serving of cucumber, papadum and acar on the side.

For those who do not fancy briyani, there are also other dishes available for their dining pleasure.

The eatery is located in a mini business park and has a huge “Bamboo Masalla Briyani” sign so you are unlikely to miss it.

The restaurant opens every day from 10.30am to 9.30pm.

Kannaa’s Bamboo Masalla Briyani is located at 27G, Jalan Ks 3a, Taman Kinrara Section 3 in Puchong.

For details, call 012-222 4445 (Shan).

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