Biryani Feast (31 Oct)

Suhail’s mom held a memorial gathering for his aunt Jeyanthi, the founder of Asirvadh Ashram, while we were visiting. For Suhail and me, the highlight of the entire event was the preparation and consumption of biryani cooked over an open fire. There were about 30 guests, plus the kids and all of us and the entire meal was cooked over an open flame outdoors. This was no small feat!

The pot for half the biryani was as big as Danush!

The two men that prepared the biryani are THE ones you call when you want biryani in Siravanure village…and because we were in a village, all the ingredients were the freshest possible because they were all local. The biryani duo arrived around 11am and the action began immediately. Some ashram kids were enlisted to pick cilantro while others made ginger garlic paste in a medieval looking contraption and the men chopped away until the piles of onions, ginger and eggplant were reduced to bits. The whole operation was pretty impressive.

Once the food was nearly ready, the guests began to arrive. After a short service, it was time to eat. Not only did we get to get all decked out in Indian garb for the event, as guests of honor, Suhail and I were served a frightening quantity of this incredible biryani. It was definitely a meal to remember! All the guests, the kids and even the dogs ate very well that night.

Check out the video below to see the highlights of the biryani preparation, especially if you are a fan of Anthony Bourdain – its probably the closest we’ll ever get to hosting a show like “No Reservations!” Click here to see more photos of the evening.


  1. ChristyP wrote:

    Amazing! It looks like you’re having a magically delicious trip. It’s great you’re documenting this experience in such detail as well — a definite perk for those who can experience it only from a distance.

    • kristen wrote:

      Thanks so much for your comments, Christy – we are definitely enjoying every bite! I am working on a post on the food in Thailand, so keep your eyes peeled. Should be up tomorrow. You may want to have something to eat while you read (c:

  2. Jagdish Lande wrote:

    Waooo… I really liked the video of Biryani Master. It’s Awesome…. I wish I could have been there to enjoy Biryani. I like the way he cut the onions. Thanks for sharing all your experience in details.

  3. Murugan wrote:

    Biriyani is one of my favorite lunch, if cooked by mastes from village., that is the real taste. thru you tube i got this website. God bless you people in all the way.
    Giving food to poor people is great thing, I think you enjoyed the moment that you spend your beautiful time with those children’s. Thanks for sharing. When i go to India I will also do like this…

    • kristen wrote:

      Thanks for your kind words, Murugan! It was an incredible meal, but the real treat was in both experiencing (and helping with!) the preparation and, of course, sharing the end product with so many special people. We were so lucky to have this experience while in India. My mouth is watering just typing about it! 🙂

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