Spreading ‘Paradise’ Through Biryani

A sample of the menu at Paradise Biryani Pointe. (Photo via News India Times)

Former IT employee Raj Gowlikar has a new profession: Biryani, an Indian rice dish.

In only a few years, his eatery Paradise Biryani Pointe has reached beyond central Jersey to 30 locations in 12 states, including two in New York in Jackson Heights, Queens and Yonkers. There will be 45 locations by February, says its website. Gowlikar now works full time for the brand, overseeing its nationwide expansion.

Ashok Ojha sat down with him at an Edison, N.J. branch in an interview published in New India Times, in which Gowlikar revealed that the food includes ingredients the cooks don’t even know.

It was hard to believe what Gowlikar claimed during an interview, “I hold the secrets of good taste of all dishes prepared and served in my restaurants,” he said claiming that he did research for years to find a good combination of herbs and spices for each dish cooked in the kitchen. “Even my cooks are unaware of the quantities of ingredients used in the recipes.

I supply the actual combination to them to use for the dishes they cook”, he said.

The business first started in North Brunswick, N.J. in 2007 and two years later, Paradise Biryani Pointe opened in Edison, N.J. The franchise spread beyond the state and now has locations as far as Minnesota, Nebraska and across the country in California.

With Paradise Biryani Pointe’s background established, what about the food? Ojha took down his observations during the interview.

Meanwhile hardworking employees of the restaurants dutifully brought appetizing dishes of Gobi Manchurian ($9.99), deep fried with onion and pepper, and Fish Basha Fried ($13.99), marinated in salt, chili, lemon juice and garam masala prior to deep fry.

Chef Satya Keerthy informed that his special preparation was Chicken 65 ($10.99), richly spiced and fried. He also recommended Malai Chicken ($11.99), made out of a secret recipe prepared by Gowlikar. However, his proud presentation was Chicken Hyderabadi ($11.99), cooked with dry mint, curry leaves, tomato and onion gravy and coconut milk. I realized that chicken and meat ruled at Paradise Biryani Pointe, even though my favorite was Vegetable Biryani, which I relished.

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