Briyani by Hamidah Bi – Cooking Divine Briyani Runs in This Family’s Blood!
I have heard whispers of a great briyani stall residing within Circuit Road Hawker Centre for the longest time. As this hawker centre is not the most accessible, I have been putting off my visit there. Recently, I somehow mustered enough energy to travel to this far-flung hawker centre to visit Hamidah Bi.
Briyani by Hamidah Bi, which is run by Madam Hamidah and her daughter, has been operating at Circuit Road Hawker Centre for almost a year. The kind macik previously helped out at her son’s biryani stall in Eunos for eight years. Madam Hamidah finally made the move and opened her own briyani stall at Circuit Road. Fun fact: her brother also owns a briyani stall! It seems like making good briyani runs in the blood of this family!
The stall only sells briyani — Chicken Briyani ($5) and Mutton Briyani ($5.50). Madam Hamidah shared with me that the basmati rice is cooked with vegetable oil, onion, ginger, garlic and spices to give it flavour and colour. The pile of long-grain rice looked truly delicious with its orange hue. On first bite, the strong aromatics just exploded in my mouth! The flavours were just right without being too overpowering. Special mention has to be given to the fluffy rice grains which are cooked with evaporated milk in achieve that firm, yet soft, texture. Drench the basmati rice in some zesty dalcha and it becomes so appetising that you will not want to stop!
Next comes the star. The meat masala. I normally prefer chicken masala more in briyani so I dove into that first. The chicken masala was cooked for an hour but the drumstick was somehow stringy. The masala taste was flavourful and strong, with the spices evidently infused into the meat. Overall, a decent chicken masala, but not very outstanding on its own.
The mutton masala was a whole different story. I am usually not a fan of mutton masala because the strong gaminess puts me off. But at Hamidah Bi, the mutton masala was absolutely divine! It was so tender, and fragrant, and the distinct taste of lamb was very pronounced. If you love mutton, you will surely love this! I asked Madam Hamidah whether she added anything special to make this mutton masala out of this world. She chuckled, and replied : “Normal. Everything normal. Curry powder, chilli, onion and ginger.” The mutton masala is cooked for three to four hours, much longer than the chicken, to get that amazing flavour and melt in mouth meat that peels off easily from the bone. Even as I am writing this, I’m fantasizing about this very plate of mutton briyani that has positively won my heart. Definitely a must-try!
Divine mutton masala, soft and fluffy basmati rice, sweet and sour achar, appetising dalcha — Hamidah Bi truly does delicious briyanis. The mutton briyani was arguably the best briyani I’ve ever had, and I am not even a big fan of mutton! I cannot emphasize how much you NEED to try this briyani. Visit Briyani by Hamidah Bi, and you will know what I am talking about!
Briyani by Hamidah Bi
Address: 79 Circuit Rd, Circuit Road Hawker Centre, #01-14, Singapore 370079
Opening Hours: 1130am to 6pm daily. Closed on Mondays.
MissTamChiak.com made an anonymous visit and paid its own meal at the stall featured here.
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