Yakader Dum Briyani @ Tekka Centre

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 Dum Briyani SGD4.50 with an added hard-boil egg for SGD0.50

All my life, I thought Nasi Briyani is simply Nasi Briyani - a spice-infused rice dish drizzled over with curried meat. The only difference is having either chicken, mutton or fish to go along with your meal.

My first trip to Tekka Centre recently taught me otherwise, as I soon found out that there is another kind called the Dum Briyani where the meat and rice (placed in alternating layers in a pot) are cooked together where the rice stews in the meat juices, absorbing the delicate flavors of the spices and herbs as opposed to Nasi Briyani where the rice and meat were cooked separately.

Back to the story, I was at Tekka Centre with my parents who wanted to buy crabs at the adjoining wet market. We walked through the food centre and saw many people having the Nasi Briyani which we haven't had for quite a while.

Done with our marketing, we decided to have Nasi Briyani for lunch and that is when I realized the numerous stalls selling this Indian Muslim dish. Which stall should I go to? I decided to let the crowd pick for me.

The one with the longest queue - I didn't take note of its name - had more than ten people in line. I wasn't prepared to wait that long so I skipped it. I also avoided those with no queue or dimly lit.

I eventually narrowed my choice to Yakader who had only three customers in line. I must admit, the attractive signboard caught my attention. I looked at it and saw "Dum Briyani", without knowing what it was until much later when I got home and did a search on it.

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Dum Briyani where the meat are cooked together with the basmati rice

Waiting in line, I saw one of the stall helper picking out the cooked pieces of mutton buried within the layers of rice inside the pot.

Just like Nasi Briyani, Dum Briyani also come with three choices of meat - Chicken, Mutton and Fish. I ordered the mutton briyani which is served on a styrofoam plate with what I suspect as mutton curry drenched over it. A small bowl of dhal was also given.

At first glance, I must say my briyani - and all briyani for that matter - did not look the least appetizing – aesthetically wise.

The serving is generous and good enough for two to share which is what I did with Mum. Just when I am about to dig in, I realized we were in trouble with the disposable cutlery. Surely it will break under pressure from the tough mutton?

Surprisingly, the mutton is so moist and tender, the meat tears away effortlessly. Most importantly, it did not have that gamey flavor which turns people off.

As for the rice, it is richly spiced and aromatic having absorbed the spice and meat juices. It also wasn't as greasy as I had thought. The rice is tasty enough to eat on its own there is no need for the bowl of dhal which I eventually left untouched.

The only side dish was cucumber in tomato sauce. There is no sign of achaar or papadum. At SGD4.50, I ain't complaining. 

Regardless the choice of meat you choose, the Dum Briyani is sold at a standard price of SGD4.50.

Yakader serves the most hearty and satisfying briyani I ever had. Do you know of any other places that serves this dish?

*No disposable fork or spoon were harmed in the review of this Dum Briyani.

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The Verdict?
My ratings: 3/5

Tekka Centre
665 Buffalo Road
Singapore 210665

Opening Hours:
Monday to Sunday: 10.00am – 7.00pm
Closed alternate Tuesdays

Google Map: https://goo.gl/maps/3bTp5
GPS Coordinates: 1.306260, 103.850880

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