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Dhaka Tribune

From a school kitchen to a household name, the history of Fakhruddin Biryani

Fakruddin Biryani is one of the most renowned biryani hubs in Dhaka city now

Update : 26 Jan 2021, 04:45 PM

Starting from a school kitchen of 200 sq feet, a small favor from Principal Hamida Ali of Viqarunnisa Noon School, to make some extra money, the founder of Fakruddin Biriyani Late Fakruddin Munshi turned it into a full-fledged business and a success story for others to follow. 

Fakruddin Biryani is one of the most renowned biryani hubs in Dhaka city now. It has expanded its business operation beyond the geographical boundaries of Bangladesh to Singapore, Australia, Dubai and beyond. 

But their humble beginnings start in the kitchens of Nawabs of Murshidabad. Fakruddin Munshi, an aspiring cook was picked for apprenticeship under Muslim Miah, a chef for the Nawabs of Murshidabad. In the Nawab's kitchen, young Fakruddin Munshi exhibited his natural flair for cooking and quickly mastered the age-old methods used in Dumm cooking 

He went on to create innovative dishes using his master's techniques and started his own journey by taking over the canteen Viqarunnisa Noon School & College in Dhaka. His Signature Creation, “Kacchi Biryani” uses potatoes with meat in a specific ratio and the controlled play of the embers is used to slow cook the marinated meat and potatoes in aromatic rice, to perfection, their website says of their history. 

Also Read- Save Fakruddin Biryani

Since the 60ies, coupled with a trademark mix of spices and word of mouth the small company began to grow. Almost no wedding in Bangladesh was complete without biriyani from Fakhruddin catering.  

Haji Mohammad Rafique, chairman of Fakruddin Biryani and Restaurant, with his head chef Abdur Razzak after being invited to cook kacchi biriyani at "Flavor of Dhaka" food festival at Hotel Nikko of Kualalampur in Malaysia on September 17, 2003 CollectedOn a private occasion, Principal Hamida Ali requested Fakruddin to cook for 10-15 people and from then onwards he did not have to look back. He amazed everyone with his unique cooking style and his unique signature dish Kacchi Biriyani and was appreciated by all. From that day, whenever there was a private event of someone closely related to Hamida Ali, they would request Mr. Fakruddin to grace the occasion with his savory Mughal delicacies. 

As the word spread and demand increased, on suggestion of his valued consumers Mr. Fakruddin started unofficial catering service in small scale taking orders for events and delivering the orders at the location. Hamida Ali offered him about 20 square-feet area for free on her school premises which served as a kitchen for preparing the orders. 

This had to be a major head start and launching pad for Fakruddin Biriyani because one of its major challenges was to find a suitable location and space for beginning a new business. Till date, their main cooking for catering takes place at the premises of Viqarunnisa, near Baily Road.

“We are what our customers say and demand, our customers speak for us, and it’s for them and their understanding about good, authentic food that we provide. They realized we are different and valued it. Fakruddin didn’t become famous overnight, it required hard-work, patience, consistency and customer focus which added to brand equity and accentuated our brand value,” Tipu, the admin and finance manager of Fakruddin. 

The eldest grandson of Fakruddin, Rafique, had played a pivotal role in the expansion of the business, steering the helms of the organization to new heights with ambitious plans and bold business ideas in making Fakruddin an iconic brand in Bangladesh and beyond. 

Rafique's Kachchi biriyani was even up for an auction at an eatery in the UK and won by the highest bidder at a price of 5,100 pound! He died back in 1997 but his sons are still serving his recipe with 3 exclusive outlets in Dhaka city, located respectively at Dhanmondi, Gulshan and Uttara. 

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