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After Suffering Losses, Couple Rebuild Life By Serving ‘Asli’ Hyderabadi Biryani to Bengaluru

Bringing the authentic taste of Hyderabadi biryani to Bengaluru, the couple behind Noon's Biryani built the business from the kitchen of their own home.

After Suffering Losses, Couple Rebuild Life By Serving ‘Asli’ Hyderabadi Biryani to Bengaluru

When you enter ‘Noon’s Biryani’ restaurant in the HSR layout of Bengaluru city, the first person to greet you will be a smiling man with a white beard and a slightly wrinkling face — Mr Mohammad.

As you try to find a seat in the bustling eatery, your nostrils will be tickled by the aromatic spices emanating from the delicious biryani and kebabs. At this point, there is no escape — even if you have to wait an hour, you’ll find yourself succumbing to the irresistible allure of that biryani.

A favourite spot among locals, Noon’s Biryani is a paradise for biryani lovers.

“What’s special about our biryani is that it’s infused with love,” says Mohammed, “Every ingredient is hand-picked and made in my wife’s home kitchen. The biryani will not remind you of any big restaurant but of your home.”

A family recipe passed on to generations

Presently 63 years old,  Mohammed started Noon’s Biryani nearly a decade and a half ago.

“I was not in the food business at all. I had a small transport business which faced severe losses, leaving us almost bankrupt. I had lost faith in the city and wanted to return to my hometown,” he recalls.

With no money to feed his family of three, Mohammed was all set on leaving Bengaluru and returning to Hyderabad.

The couple sells more than 100 plates of biryani every day. Picture credit: Noon's Biryani
The couple sells more than 100 plates of biryani every day. Picture credit: Noon’s Biryani

“When dreams do not come true, it becomes hard to bounce back. I really thought that I would not be able to survive in a city like Bengaluru, but it was my wife who became my rock back then,” he says.

While Mohammed was ready to leave, it was his wife, Asiya (53), who pushed her husband to give the city another chance. This time she decided to man the ropes with her husband.

She suggested doing what she knew best — cooking! “She told me that we are not moving back. She said she would make the food and I should go sell it. With utmost faith in her voice and determination to survive, she asked to start selling biryani,” he recalls.

The couple divided the duties with Asiya being the cook and Mohammed looking at everything from sales to procuring raw materials. “It was essentially a group effort, a true family business with our son helping us out. My wife would make the biryani and I would pack it and take it to sell,” he says.

Initially, the couple did not own a shop or a restaurant but just a makeshift space that they moved from one mall to another. “We would stand outside different malls and sell the biryani initially as we did not have the money to invest in a restaurant. The initial response was very good and people really enjoyed the taste,” he says.

Most days Asiya’s delicious biryani would run out with customers returning empty-handed. “We could see that people liked the taste and wanted more. We started to save to invest in a shop,” he says.

After two years, the family had finally saved enough money to start a small restaurant in Bengaluru’s HSR Layout, Sector 7. “The place is small but a labour of love and effort. We have recurring customers every day and new ones adding almost every week,” he says.

Noon’s Asli Hyderabadi Biryani

When you enter the restaurant, it’s not your typical fancy establishment but a humble one with old-fashioned tables and chairs. “We have limited seating but space for everyone in our hearts. While some days the place is crowded, a lot of people prefer to pack the biryani and take it home,” he says.

Claiming their biryani to be “asli” (real) Hyderabadi biryani, Noon’s Biryani also has a homemade taste to it. The reason? Because it is actually made in the home kitchen of the family. “The biryani is not too heavy on the spices but is a perfect mix that helps us bring out every flavour,” he says.

It is served with raita and salan and a small plate of salad. However, Mohammed suggests eating the biryani without salan to feel the burst of flavour in your mouth.

The couple serves two to three types of biryanis — chicken biryani, mutton biryani, egg biryani — and kebabs. The eatery follows a strict no artificial ingredients policy, and even the food colour in the biryani comes from natural turmeric powder.

At this eatery, customers can also request to lower or increase the spice level. It also offers biryani made in olive oil for health-conscious people; this biryani is only available on demand.

When asked who taught Asiya the art of biryani making, he responds, “Cooking biryani is a slow process of patience. This recipe is a family heritage passed down from my mother to my wife. She uses her tips and tricks to make the biryani that is adored by so many people.”

He adds, “It is in the small things like how long you marinate the meat or whether you soak your spices before you put them in oil that make the difference in the overall taste.”

Noon’s Biryani serves nearly 100 plates of their star dish every day and has served thousands of hungry customers for the past decade and a half. Reflecting on his journey so far, Mohammad says, “Starting Noon’s was a leap of faith for me. If it was not for my wife’s faith in God and life, I would have packed my bags and left long back.”

(Edited by Pranita Bhat)

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