“The last time Rudd was here with Dan Levy (the star and creator of Schitt’s Creek), he asked me, ‘What are the chances of me getting a biryani ticket?’” Kolkata-born British chef and restaurateur, Asma Khan, told My Kolkata over the phone from London.
Soon enough. The actor visited the restaurant in London on August 29 and, ahem, even paid for his Kolkata dum biryani!
“I am so happy he came. The biryani supper was quite difficult to book but we kept him informed when we released dates. He immediately booked a ticket in his name and paid for everything. He’s just such a decent human being,” said Asma about Rudd.
The Biryani Supper Club ticketed event is sold out on most Sundays and costs 95 pounds per head, without drinks and service charge.
The post soon went viral on Twitter with Kolkata biryani lovers across the world pitching in.
So, how does Asma make her famous Kolkata-style biryani? “I don’t like biryani very spicy so I try not to put too much masala. We also make it without the egg. I like to enjoy the layering. And like any good Calcuttan, I like the aloo better than the rice and the mutton! The aloo is what makes it unbeatable,” she grinned.
At the Biryani Supper Club, a spoon “shaped like an oar” is used to cut the biryani. “It’s a flat round spoon with a log-like stick so that your hand doesn’t burn and it gives you that strength to cut through the biryani in the degh. It was made in Kurseong for this purpose,” explained Asma, who was featured in the sixth season of Netflix’s Chef’s Table.
She claims she cannot make biryani for less than 100 people. “Biryani made in a big degh is so different. It’s magical. That’s the reason, when in Kolkata, we eat the biryani from places like Arsalan, Shiraz and Aminia,” she added.
At Darjeeling Express, she makes sure her guests take home the love for Kolkata-style biryani. “At the end of our Biryani Supper Club, we give takeaway boxes. In fact, Rudd packed five boxes to take home. He loved it,” she signed off.