In Tamil Nadu, biryani is fed at political rallies. Although sales are slow this year, the cadre's favorite chefs are gearing up for the assembly election
"I am waiting for the victory feast given by the candidates who won the election, and during such occasions I usually go Ila Kanakku, Where I charge 200 per head and banquet on the banyan leaf, ”says 53-year-old Basha brother, Which runs a biryani catering service out of Mamallapuram. In Tamil Nadu, the election season sees a dramatic increase in biryani sales as political parties place bulk orders of packets to distribute to cadres, or even appoint a master to prepare it at their meeting place.
Biryani catering service near Mamallapuram has been in operation for 18 years, 53-year-old Basha brother Popular with political parties to arrange an economic feast. He is taken to the venue three hours before a meeting ends, which gives him and his team time to cook a fragrant Tamil Nadu style biryani. This not only provides the audience with a piping, hot meal after the meeting, but also ensures increased attendance as the biryani scent curls its way through the venue.
"For wedding banquets, I use equal portions of meat and rice, but when it comes to a political party where there is a limitless crowd, I add a little more rice so that I serve more than a dozen. I can, ”he says. “There is no compromise in quality. I always insist on using the best quality basmati and meat. "To this end," I would rather pay less and compromise for myself and employees than to make poor quality biryani, whether it is an election meeting or campaign or wedding. " Basha insists on taking the raw material to the venue instead of letting his client supply it, stating that he always insists on staying at the venue with the raw material, and will not allow the party cadre to supply them .
The biryani master's wages for vegetable, chicken and mutton, which accompany an assistant, is based on the kilograms used and the variety of biryani -, 100, and 120 and per 150 per plate. If he prepares 25 kilograms of each chicken and rice, then that. 3,000 is paid. The serving includes a piece of meat, an egg and a generous portion of rice. Usually one kilogram of biryani with meat is enough to fill six to eight boxes.
"There are two types of biryani that I prepare: Dum And The plaintiff Biryani. For party cadres, I usually stick The plaintiff Biryani, where we cook rice and meat with spices and layer it before mixing and serving. "It tastes good," he says, even if eaten later because the cadres prefer to take packets and eat leisurely. I like this method because I want everyone to taste the best biryani.
When the order is too large for him to handle, he invites the Biryani masters of the neighboring districts to join the task. "To prepare for 1,000 people, we use several cauldrons and allocate one master for two cauldrons. Generally, we cook 25–30 kg of rice and meat in each batch.
This year, the city's biryani kitchen is not as busy. “Even during the lockdown, we had good sales as we could open the shop during the scheduled hours, but it was submerged after the announcement of assembly election dates. No party has placed bulk orders yet, and even the public has become wary of spending these days, ”says Anees Ahmed, managing partner for all 14 branches of the Star Biryani outlet in Chennai , In previous elections, there have even been pre-orders of between 500 and 2,000 packets a day.
It is a similar story on small stalls. Mohammad Nihal, who stalls Biryani at ECR near Mamallapuram, says, “During the last elections, we supplied 600 to 1000 biryani parcels per day to all parties. This is the worst we have been in business in 20 years. No orders have been placed mainly due to the cash crisis and epidemic situation.
Star Biryani, Ambur managing director, Munir Ahmad, says "restricted cash flow is the major reason for the sluggish sales", adding that the Election Commission of India is "keeping an eye on the biryani movement" and is seeking details Who paid and how. Was made. "Strict vigilance has prevented parties from spending on biryani as it may be considered electoral spending," he says.
Basha says that he supplied around 3,000 packets of biryani during the last assembly election, but this year he is between 50 and 100 packets a day. "It is probably the epidemic that has made the parties avoid heavy crowds or large-scale food," Basha, however, expects to have better sales on polling day – April 6 – as food will be served to cadres and polling booth managers.
He says, "Whatever the candidates endorse, they all agree on biryani for lunch on election day."