A Delicious Mughlai Breakfast at Shiraz, Kolkata

In Hyderabad, we are extremely proud of our typical Hyderabadi breakfast. At places like Shadab, Alpha or Paradise, we really gorge on Kheema Kaleji, Gurda Bhaji, Nihari and Paya. Some of these dishes are quite popular in the Delhi version of Muslim cuisine too. During my recent trip to Kolkata, I had the chance to try out the Kolkata version of Mughlai breakfast – at Shiraz Golden Restaurant, Park Circus.

Paya Shiraz

During the brief period I worked in Kolkata in the late 80s, Shiraz was easily one of the best biryani places in town. The 50-year-old restaurant at Mullickbazar used to serve some mean chaap and rezala too, and this place along with Rahmania were go-to joints for a quick lunch from our Theatre Road office. Over the next two decades, new places like Arsalan and Zeeshan have shot into fame for their Mughlai food, though many of my traditional food lover friends still swear by the biryani of Shiraz even today.

Food blogger Indrajit Lahiri of Moha-Muskil.com was instrumental in me visiting Shiraz again after 20 years. I was reading his post about Kolkata Mughlai breakfast, and he gracefully agreed to take me to Shiraz to sample the same. The breakfast is available from wee hours in the morning, but a late riser like me negotiated a meeting time of 7 am in front of the restaurant.

Magaz Curry
Magaz Curry

Sharp at 7 o'clock I arrive at the appointed place and find the restaurant missing. Instead, there was a hotel named Jameson Inn Shiraz in its place, leaving me wondering if the restaurant had really upgraded itself inside a star property. Asking around helped me know that now the old Shiraz Golden Restaurant has shifted to the opposite footpath (I was there two decades ago, and as expected lot of things have changed in that busy road), and there I find Indrajit waiting for me reading a newspaper.

Without much ado, we park ourselves on the first table available and order food. We started with Paya (Mutton trotter broth) and Magaz  (Brain).  The paya was very different from the Hyderabadi fare, low on spices but making up for it by the overwhelming aroma of mutton in the slow cooked shorba. The trotters were fat laden rather than the lean ones we see in Hyderabad and the tandoori rotis dunked in the broth absorbed the flavours well.

Dal Gosht Shiraz
Dal Gosht

The Magaz (or bheja as we call them in Hyderabad) was the best dish of the day. The gravy was a thick Mughlai preparation, similar to what you experience in Matia Mahal-Urdu Bazar areas of Delhi. Rich and the spicy, I would prefer it as a lunch dish but that said, I did not mind it as the first meal of the day either. A must-have dish here, surely.

Dal Gosht was another speciality here. The dish of succulent mutton pieces slow cooked in chana dal was much lower on masala, more like the daily food you taste at Muslim homes. I loved the dish with the sweetish tandoori roti, but this dish will go well with chapatis, roomali or even the humble rice.

The fourth and the last dish was Mutton Tomato Stew, a light and silky runny gravy with large pieces of tomato in it.  The slightly tangy dish had some extra ghee floating on top to enhance its taste further.

Mutton Tomato Stew
Mutton Tomato Stew

There are other items such as Keema and Kaleji available too, but for two of us, it was difficult to gorge further. The Bill for all of the above with a continuous flow of milky tea came to around Rs 600.

The breakfast can get over at as early as 6:30 am, so to avoid disappointment it may be advisable to be there early.  As per this post from Indrajit (which gives a detailed description of his experience at Shiraz earlier), Sufia near Nakhoda Masjid is another place for a good Mughlai breakfast, and I do plan to visit it the next time.

Shiraz Golden Restaurant
135 Park Street (Near Mullickbazar Crossing)
Telephone: (033) 22866806

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