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Food @ Trivandrum

Sheela Home Food: Chicken Biriyani With Fish Fry

While looking for a place to order food for lunch, this time, found a new name called Sheela Home Food… A little bit of research online seems to suggest that its part of a hostel in Kazhakuttom whose kitchen appears to have started providing their “home food” via the delivery apps… Of-course the prospect of having homemade food as always has managed to peak my interest and here we are…

I have to confess one thing here… This isn’t the first time I bought food from this place but rather the second time… Its because I was left with so much mixed feelings about this Biriyani last time that I wanted to try once more to be sure before writing about it… This is the first time I got to try their Fish Fry though 🙂 So, the following pic shows both the Chicken Biriyani and the Fish Fry on my table ready to be eaten…

First, lets talk about the Biriyani… As per the menu, it is mentioned as Rice and marinated Chicken garnished with fresh Coriander, roasted Cashews, Fried Onions and roasted Raisins and served on Banana Leaf with Egg, Lemon Pickle, Salad and Pappadom… Also, while ordering they give you the option to go for either half portion or full portion of the Biriyani and what you see here in the pics is the full portion… Personally I don’t like Pappadoms and so I discarded it… The Biriyani arrived wrapped in the Banana Leaf with the Boiled Egg, Salad and Pickle in separate pouches… One complaint I have at this point is that I feel that the quantity of Salad and Pickle given is too less for the quantity of the Biriyani given… I guess that quantity is fine for half portion, but for this full portion, I feel that at-least twice the quantity is needed…

Coming to the taste, first of all, I was left surprised during the two times I had this Biriyani finding how well cooked the Chicken was… Most places that sell Biriyanis like this tend to at-least have the Breast pieces overcooked but here even that was cooked just right and in no way overdone… As for the flavours of the masala, it was a fine balance between the Ginger-Garlic paste, the Garam Masala spice blend which was indeed used in a mild way so as to just supplement the flavours of the Ginger-Garlic paste and the aroma of the Coriander… Flavour of ghee does cut thru everything along with the roasted Cashews and the sweetness from the roasted Raisins… The rice used seemed to be fine as well and so did the accompanying salad and pickle which were pretty much like how they are typically at most places… However, during the first time I had this biriyani, I felt the taste of Dalda in it but this time I didn’t feel its taste… Though I felt the taste of Ghee, I think this biriyani could use some more of it and if so, I think this Biriyani has the potential to be the best Chicken Biriyani in Trivandrum and one of the best that I have ever come across… Its almost there at this point… Just that they have to completely avoid Dalda and use some more Ghee instead and need to make sure the Biriyani stays moist enough… I for one, wouldn’t mind if they increase the price a bit for doing that and I don’t think food enthusiasts would either… 🙂

Next up is the Fish Fry… The menu mentions this to be a fresh Ayala (Mackerel) fish, nicely blended and marinated with spices with a squeeze of Lemon Juice and fried using Coconut Oil on a pan till golden on both sides… Lol clearly, as the pics below show, they have not blended the fish but have definitely marinated it with the usual spices thats typically used for frying fish in Kerala style… Its a whole Mackerel fried whole, but without the tail’s end which is a first for me seeing it like that… As for the taste, once again, I could feel that expertise in using the spices just right here as well… The taste of the Fish itself was not overpowered in any way by the spices used but rather the spices seems to supplement the fish as its supposed to be… The fish itself was cooked well and had a slightly crispy skin with the flesh inside being soft and fluffy… The only complaint I had was that personally for me, I wish it was slightly less salty but when you think about how the Fish fry would be typically eaten ie, with rice, the salt level does makes sense… So, its ok…

Overall, am still left with a bit of mixed feelings due to the observations I have mentioned above… However, as I mentioned above as well, I feel that there is a tremendous potential here to be one of the best food providers as well, which is why I decided to write this post… So, thats it for now… Do feel free to try the same and let me know in the comments section below… I for one am hoping to be able to try more from their menu soon… 🙂

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