Nasi Briyani

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Mohd Sahbir Muslim Food, Sims Vista Market & Food Centre

Ever since being introduced to nasi briyani by my Aunt Gin way back when I was a kid, I’ve been hooked. The alluring fragrance of all them condiments, spices, and basmati rice combined, harmoniously accompanied by a tantalizing slab of chicken or mutton and a side plate of curry with an equally intricate aroma — every mouthful you take is a tender eruption of flavors.

The second best nasi briyani I’ve ever had came from a roadside eatery in the mystical land of Burma. Fluffy Burmese rice laden luxuriously with ghee, the glistening tenderness of chicken achieved only by cooking it together with the rice, and next to me, my buddy Kiang, whose company made good things even better. It’s been a long while since we’ve hung out over a bottle of whiskey and stories of his colorful life as a musician in the 60s. I miss jamming with him at his guitar shop, playing them golden songs of old. Hell, I even miss his shit stirring ways. We’re almost 40 years apart but damn, we were tight as fuck. I’ve probably gotten drunk with him more than any other friend of mine…

You know, Kiang cooked his own rendition of Burmese nasi briyani for me once… And that, by the way, was the best nasi briyani I’ve ever had.

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