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They are loving it...

Close to 1 lakh Calcuttans turned up at the Biryani & Kebab Festival 2014, presented by t2 and City Centre, at Salt Lake and New Town on Friday. Twelve restaurants from across the city served up several varieties of biryani — Lucknowi, Hyderabadi, Calcutta, Awadhi, Mughlai — for the hungry tide!

This group of eight MTech students from Jadavpur University has one vegetarian among them. So while the rest of the gang settled for “bikkhyato Royal-er biryani”, their friend Amit tucked into vegetable biryani from Oudh 1590. “We will try a few items from other stalls as well. But Royal is our first choice,” said Sthitaprajna Basu

(From left) Debalina Dasgupta, Biswajit Banerjee, Madhurima Mitra, Pratik Roy and Soumyojyoti Sengupta work for TCS and Friday is not their day off. Yet, they were all parked in the Kund area from 1pm, thanks to their boss who sanctioned a special leave just for the love of biryani and kebabs. They had already polished off several plates of Mutton Biryani, Chicken Chaap, Reshmi Kebab and Shahi Tukra when we met them. An off day well spent!

Two-year-old Riddhisa Shaw from Phoolbagan loves anything jhaal. At City Centre Salt Lake, we found her engrossed in a Reshmi Kebab. “Bhalo, khub bhalo, tumio khao,” was all she would say before turning her attention back to the kebab

Saikat De is a hardcore Shiraj loyalist. But on Friday afternoon, he chose to try the Chicken Tengri Kebab from Zeeshan for a change. “Loving it. This is awesome. And yeah, I will have biryani from Shiraj before I leave,” said the resident of Belgachhia Milk Colony

Ishika Roy and Debasmita Dutta had got Awadhi Gosht Biryani from Oudh 1590 and were waiting for a friend who had gone to fetch kebabs. “It is so difficult to wait with two plates of biryani in hand. I hope he comes quick,” said Ishika, a student of Techno India College of Technology

The Biryani & Kebab Festival, presented by t2 and City Centre, is on at Salt Lake and New Town, Saturday and Sunday, 1pm to 9pm

Text by Sibendu Das; Pictures by Pabitra Das