Bawarchi Biryanis Explores the Depth of Indian Cuisine

Maybe you’ve been to a few Indian restaurants. Every time, you turn to what you’re familiar with – the ubiquitous butter chicken or chicken tikka masala. And while the staples of Indian restaurants are satisfying and familiar, you’re really missing out on so much of the exquisite culinary experience that India has to offer.
That’s why the Bawarchi Biryanis menu is so thrilling. In fact, that’s exactly why the restaurant landed in Little Rock. One of the owners, Sudhir Mandali mentions, “We noticed that there wasn’t any South Indian food in the area…no biryani even…” He explained that the purpose was to create a classic sit-down experience with Indian food. So, in May 2019, four partners teamed up to bring an all-encompassing menu featuring champions of Indian cuisine for the Little Rock public.
And boy, are the patrons spoiled for choice!
The riveting aroma that wafts through the Rodney Parham plaza is the first clue that you’re in for a unique experience. It’s not all about the food, though. It starts with the beverages, and while happy hour drinks run from 5–7 p.m., there’s a more enticing way to wash down the impending feast. You can order ice cold chikoo juice (the juice of a small plum-like fruit, the sapodilla), or it’s more well-known cousin, the mango lassi (a slightly tart, yogurt-based drink blended in with fresh mango).

Sipping on these coolers, you’ll ponder a number of tantalizing appetizer options. When in doubt, it’s always best to glance at the Bawarchi specials board, aka the “Cream of the Crop.” They’re always the most popular dishes, like the Chicken Gold Coin plate: encrusted in a glistening layer of toasted sesame seeds, these two-bite breaded chicken cutlets simply beg to be dipped in an herby cilantro-mint chutney. They’re a perfect way to tide you over until the main event – the entrées.
In a menu this diverse, it’s hard to know what to pick. But Bawarchi’s expert staff are trained to guide your order. While some may opt for a twist on a South Indian classic like the Spring dosa (a papery lentil stuffed-crepe usually served with a quartet of chutneys), others take Bawarchi Biryani’s name seriously, opting for the meaty, flavorful biryani.
And there are those, of course, who want it all. For them, the chef prepares beautiful “thalis” (round steel platters boasting a variety of delectable dishes) that change all the time. Usually, the chef serves two vegetarian bowls, two meat-based bowls, raita (a yogurt concoction that cools the palate), rice, naan, papadom (a crisp made from lentils and roasted over dry heat), rasam and sambaar (thin, spiced soups to be mixed with rice for extra flavor), and a special dessert.

From appetizers to mains, Bawarchi Biryanis’ menu truly has something for everyone. It’s a menu that entices you to venture out of the usual and try things you’ve never tried before – exactly what the owners intended for Little Rock foodies. This is food that will make you want to come again and again if only to embark on another culinary adventure.
Bawarchi Biryanis
11121 N Rodney Parham, STE 36B in Little Rock
Open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.

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