‘Best Biryani’ contest tickles Sandringham palate

Staff Reporter – 

If you are a person who enjoys one of the most delicious items of the Indian cuisine (which has now spread to other parts of the Sub-Continent), you had better visit Sandringham in Auckland.

Seven Restaurants of Indian and Sri Lankan origin are participating in the ongoing ‘Best Biryani Competition’ in the area with expert judges tasting the culinary art of the chefs and owners of these eateries.

Organised by ‘Eat Auckland and Sandringham Food and Spice Tour,’ the contest aims to bring the finest aspects of the dish that is gaining popularity among New Zealanders.

Fierce Competition

Lisa Loveday, owner-operator of the company said fierce competition in Sandringham inspired her to launch the first-ever contest.

“The idea came about when we noticed how competitive the restaurants were, especially about Biryani. Everyone thinks theirs is the best!” she said.

Expert in culinary art will be sampling the Biryani at seven Sri Lankan and Indian restaurants in Sandringham and judge the best, she added.

High quality food

According to Ms Loveday, the participating restaurants have displayed a poster in their shop window with the Biryani/s that have entered in the contest.

“The judging is blind so that every day the chefs will be making their best Biryani. October has thus become a terrific month to visit Sandringham and try this traditional and delicious celebration dish!” she said.

Diners can also mention their favourite Sandringham Biryani in October on Facebook page www.facebook.com/bestbiryanicompetition and enter a draw to win a meal for two at the winning restaurant.

The awards for the best meat Biryani and best vegetarian Biryani will be announced at the Sandringham Village Street Festival on October 31, 2015.

Challenging Biryani

'Best Biryani' contest ticklesMs Loveday said that Biryani is technically hard to make well and can take up to five hours.

“It has many components and each part needs to be executed well. It needs to have a good aroma and the basmati rice should be of good quality and have long grains.

“The meat or vegetables are marinated in a blend of spices mixed with yoghurt and the rice is cooked with whole spices. Each part is semi-cooked separately and then combined in layers to finish the cooking served with a yoghurt riata. The many parts to the dish can influence the flavour,” she said.

For more information go to: www.facebook.com/bestbiryanicompetition

Sandringham Food and Spice Tours

Lisa Loveday says:

We have been taking walking food tours in Sandringham for the last three years and are just about to launch into other neighbourhoods. The restaurants here are providing food for their own ethnic communities so we can get the authentic tastes of India and Sri Lanka without leaving town.

The tours mainly attract Aucklanders from neighbouring suburbs and beyond and has certainly put Sandringham on the gastronomic map and increased European clientele at the restaurants.

Eat Auckland gives back to the community by donating $1 from every tour fee to a charity, which at present is the Auckland Regional Migrant Services Trust.

For more information go to: www.eatauckland.co.nz

Sandringham Village Street Festival

Sandringham, just over five kms out of Auckland’s CBD, has in recent years become a hub of Indian and Sri Lankan restaurants and Asian supermarkets and attracts people from all over Auckland. Its shops and restaurants are open late most evenings, providing fabulous food and a family friendly atmosphere at a time when neighbouring suburbs are slumbering.

The vibrant annual Festival will feature fabulous food, music, street stalls and community performances. This year most restaurants participating will be offering $5 tastings.

For more information, please visit www.eventfinda.co.nz

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