The colorful and highly spiced rice dish known as biryani is popular in both northern and southern India, and Pakistan, as well. While versions differ, most are made with basmati rice and may include meat, poultry and/or vegetables.
Here are three different versions of biryani that are worth checking out.
SOUTHERN SPICE, 1635 Hillside Ave., New Hyde Park, 516-216-544
At this destination spot for Chettinad Indian cuisine, the signature egg biryani features two whole hard-boiled eggs in a mountain of herb-and spice-flecked rice. Flavors are multilayered and nuanced. $12
NEW CHILLI & CURRY RESTAURANT, 106 Woodbury Rd., Hicksville, 516-932-9180
The "Chili & Curry special" biryani is a rice dish that features a combination of lamb, chicken and shrimp. Flavors are as complex as they are intriguing. $14.95
KIRAN PALACE, 6092 Jericho Tpke., Commack, 631-462-0003, kiranpalacecommack.com
At this Indian restaurant embedded in a strip mall, you'll find a vegetable biryani that's subtly seasoned, tinted with saffron. It's a dish that's worth your attention. $13.95
MASALAH GRILL,195 Walt Whitman Rd., Huntington Station, 631-271-1700, masalahgrill.com
The classic rice dish known as biryani rises to a level of opulence you might not expect at such a modest little suburban spot. Each grain is perfectly cooked and separate, the colorful mixture studded with moist pieces of poultry, vegetables and coriander, crowned with tiny fried onion curls. $12