Nizams- Prestigious Biriyani of Kolkata Since 1937

nizams kolkata

Kolkata is a city of many spectacles. From its history and architecture to its culture and food, Kolkata is a genuinely gifted city; no wonder it is called The City of Joy. People of Kolkata are big foodies who love to explore the various cult joints across the city.

During the colonial period, many new varieties of food and eateries flourished, expanding the citizens’ taste pallet. Most of these joints are located in central Kolkata. Nizams is one such iconic fast food joint of Kolkata in the New Market area, which is the ultimate destination for food connoisseurs for kathi rolls, kebabs, and other Mughlai dishes. 

Nizams New Market

Nizams located in the New Market area of Central Kolkata, is a legendary eatery with monopolistic power over the iconic ‘Kathi’ roll of Kolkata, which is essentially an on-the-go snack. It is a paradise and heaven for street food lovers, especially those who love Mughlai food. The eatery also has a variety of Mughlai dishes, but the Kathi rolls are their USP. 

To reach here, you must go to the market’s backside near the KMC building. You will see a red board with Nizams written on it. The building is old, and the restaurant has two levels- the ground and the first floors. 

nizams kathi roll

1932 Raza Hassan Saheb founded this eatery in the then-teeming Hogg Market. Back then, this area used to be a stamping ground for the Britishers who resided in Kolkata. It gained popularity quickly and became a paradise for people who love beef, Khiri, and mutton kebabs. 

It was in the year 1937 when Nizam invented the exemplary Kathi roll. The story around the invention of kathi rolls goes like this: the founder, Raza Hassan Sahib, had a British customer who needed something to eat on the way to the office. At that moment, Hassan Saheb wrapped the gravy meat in a Paratha, and to avoid any spillage of the gravy, he enveloped the whole thing as eased paper. 

Read More: Evening Snacks at Dilkhusha Cabin Kolkata!

Thus, history was created, and ‘roll’ came into being. In no time, rolls became the favourite portable snack in the city, especially among the white people who had trouble eating the succulent kebabs with their hands. As it was an office area, people used to flock to this place to get this gorgeous on-the-go snack. 

The gravy meat was replaced by kebabs which were cooked on long iron skewers; the rolls were branded as Kathi rolls. Though, because of the iron skewers, the kebabs took a long time to cool, and due to their heavy weight, the workers found them very difficult to work with. The iron skewers were substituted with bamboo sticks circa 1960 to increase efficiency and large-scale production of kebabs. 

The kathi rolls became very popular among officegoers and in the adjacent business district of Dalhousie. Over the decades, Nizam remained the go-to place for all beef and meat lovers, selling some of the best meat dishes. Regarding the atmosphere of this place, Nizam has kept their interiors simple with marble top tables and wooden chairs. 

Many renowned personalities like Raj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar, and Amitabh Bachchan, to name a few, have graced this place with their presence. Though Nizams closed its beef counter in 2008, after several requests from old timers, they brought back the authentic dishes in 2021. 

Exemplary Foods at Nizams

Nizams has become synonymous with Kathi roll though they have a lot of other delicious Mughlai food to offer. At Nizam, you will get a homely environment at a pocket-friendly price. At Nizams, you will get Kathi rolls with all types of filling and paratha, which they customize according to your preference. You can also ask for a ‘chapati’ or any other whole wheat bread instead of the usual flaky paratha for a healthier alternative.  

Even though Nizams is known for its meat dishes, they also have vegetarian options. So you can also substitute the meat fillings with paneer kebabs. The kebabs are still cooked in the old-fashioned way. Unlike other places where kebabs are cooked on tawa and pans, the kebabs at Nizam are cooked on a charcoal bed, which adds a smoky taste that sticks to your tongue. Here are some of the must-try items besides the Kathi roll.

Mutton Kathi Kebab

The mutton kathi kebab is essentially a stick of mutton kebab. At Nizams, you will find a different form of the regular kebabs you would get at a restaurant. The mutton pieces are marinated with a melange of spices brushed with ghee, and cooked on a coal bed. Once they have cooked, the kebabs are sauteed with onions and capsicum. 

Seekh Kebab

Seekh kebabs are the ultimate kebabs, and Nizams makes the best ones in the city. The seekh kebabs come in two variants- chicken and mutton. Here the minced meat is mixed with a blend of spices and chickpea flour as a binder. This mixture is then skewered onto the ‘seekh’ or skewers and roasted until brown. 

nizams seekh kebab

Chicken Biryani

If you think that Nizam is only known for its rolls and kebabs, it is time to change your perception, as here you will do the best lip-smacking biryani. The biryani at Nizams is light and flavourful and tastes nothing but outstanding. A plate of biryani comes with a piece of potato, a boiled egg, and a piece of chicken or mutton. To enhance the experience, you can take a mutton pasanda or chicken cheap as a side dish. 

The Kathi roll is enshrouded with nostalgia and the flavour of the old world as it originated during British rule. Nizam has truly held onto its legacy and continues serving food lovers the yesteryear flavour. 

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