Nasi Biryani Ayam (Chicken Biryani Rice)


By Wern Sze Gill

Ipoh hawker foodNasi biryani is a traditional Indian Malaysian rice-based dish with a signature reddish-orange color and a strong, spiced flavour. This meal-in-one begins with washed uncooked rice fried gently in ghee or vegetable oil, together with a selection of spices and herbs such as cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, pandan leaves, ginger, saffron and garlic.

This is then steamed in a stock made from chicken or mutton bones, together with portions of chicken or mutton. The result is a fragrant meal of spiced rice and meat, served with curry gravy. The dish is sometimes accompanied by a plain salad of sliced cucumber, tomato, onion and green chili. You can also opt for a side order of raita (cucumber and yoghurt salad), fruit or vegetable pickles, and papadum (fried lentil crackers).

There are many Indian Muslim restaurants serving biryani in Ipoh, but the authentic ones are those which are cooked with chicken and a variety of spices in them. Places to try the authentic biryani in Ipoh:

Ipoh Padang Curry House
93 Jalan Raja Ekram (Cowan Street)
Opens daily from 5:30am – 8.30pm
RM7 per plate. Served plain without curry gravy or veges unless requested. Very tasty and flavourful even on its own.

My Nasi Kandar @ Mydin Meru Raya, Ipoh
(opposite passport/IC office, Ministry of Home Affairs building)
Jalan Jelapang – Meru
Open 23 hours (closed between 4-5am)
RM10 per plate.  Served with cucumber salad and curry gravy over chicken.

Nasi Kandar AK
6c-6e Jalan Labrooy
Opens daily 6.30am – 11pm
RM7.50 per plate. Served with cucumber salad and curry gravy over a whole chicken thigh.

Restoran M Salim
75 Jalan Bahru, Off Jalan Tokong
Kompleks Silveritage Galleria, Medan Gopeng
20 Jalan Yang Kalsom
Opens daily from 6.30am – 12.30am.
RM7.30 per plate. Served with cucumber salad with curry gravy over chicken.

Restoran Nasi Vanggey
5A Lebuh 1, Greentown Business Centre
Opens 24 hours daily
RM6.00 per plate.  Served with cucumber salad, half a salted egg and gravy over chicken.