Food Culture in Hyderabad
Mughal, Nawabi and Andhra Cuisines Dominate Hyderabad
If you are wondering what's best to eat in Hyderabad then knowing about the culture of this city can help. Hyderabad, the capital of Telangana is a city that people with so many different cultures call home.
Known as the city of Nizams, the city is most well-known for Mughlai and Nawabi cuisines plus the mix and match of Andhra cuisine. You can expect a lot of types of Biryanis and Kebabs here on every other food stall and restaurants and to be honest, you will never get tired of it.
More Use of Desi Ghee and Dry Fruits
The food in Hyderabad is rich - it sees a lot of use of desi ghee and dry fruits in it. You can spot kishmish and cardamom in Biryanis. Most dishes are made in desi ghee along with the smoky flavour which is something you won’t get to see anywhere else. It can turn out to be quite heavy on your tummy if you are not so regular about ghee and spices. So, make sure that you eat mindfully when in Hyderabad.
More Non Veg Options than Veg
This is going to be so difficult for you to find Hyderabad famous veg food items. The reason is that Mughal influence brought in more and more non-veg dishes into the Hyderabadi culture and it seems to be quite evident in the streets in the city.
Goat meat and rice are the ultimate kitchen staples here and apparently, people do not need any special occasions to cook buttery meat dishes.
Some of the Best Dishes in Hyderabad to Try Before You Die
What makes Hyderabadi dishes so flavorful is their slow cooking method and Haleem is also one of them. It is made out of mutton, wheat, nuts and lots of spices and then slow-cooked for a really long time till perfection.
However, Haleem is not an entirely Hyderabadi dish and it is originally an Arabic dish which was introduced during the Nizam period. Over time, it went through a lot of changes and local people incorporated some Hyderabadi flavour in it.
It is mainly consumed in the month of Ramadan and usually served at special occasions only. As it is high in calories, it provides instant energy but can make you feel quite full even with a small portion. You can head to Hotel Shadab or Café Bahar to taste the best Haleem in Hyderabad.
Keema Samosa is Hyderabad special snacks and something that you won’t find better than the one in Hyderabad. Instead of the usual aloo stuffing, keema stuffing is used in samosa and then they are deep-fried into the oil until they turn golden brown.
Keema is prepared with minced goat meat and peas are also used in this stuffing to make it taste even more amazing. You can find the best keema samosa in Hyderabad at Ruchi Samosa, Hotel Shadab and other places.
The fact that keema itself takes so much time to be prepared increases the flavour of this keema samosa instantly. The use of garam masala further makes you want to eat this samosa again and again. This non-vegetarian take on the popular veg samosa is simply mind-blowing and you would not want to miss the typical Hyderabadi flavour of this snack at all.
Maghaz Masala or Brain Curry is indeed what it sounds like and people in Hyderabad are totally crazy about this delicacy. Maghaz means brain and Masala mean spices. In this dish, the brain of goat or cow or sheep is deep-fried with a lot of spices and then served with gravy.
Some people also call is Bheja Fry which is a more popular term for this dish. There are a lot of ways to prepare this dish as some people incorporate curry while some prefer it deep-fried and dry.
It is usually prepared with goat’s brain but a lot of different versions of this dish are also available in Hyderabadi cuisine. As it is quite high in cholesterol, it is not recommended to eat Maghaz Masala quite often. You can head to Hotel Nayaab for the best Maghaz Masala in Hyderabad.
There is a whole history related to the origin and flavour of Hyderabadi Biryani and you would not want to miss out on this special recipe when in Hyderabad. If you are quite wondering what to eat in Hyderabad at lunch or even in dinner then Hyderabadi Biryani would be the best option to pick.
It is prepared from rice using the dum method of cooking in which food is cooked on slow heat and it takes a lot of time but the final flavour is simply amazing. They also use goat meat, chicken or beef, onion, a lot of spices, saffron, coriander leaves, basmati rice, and lemon to prepare this special type of Biryani. People in Hyderabad don’t mind eating this Biryani 24 X 7 as it is so flavorful and so delicious in taste. The top place to experience this delicacy is to head to Paradise Hotel.
Just like Tunday Kebabi, Boti Kebab also originated in Lucknow but went on to become quite popular in Hyderabad too. Boti Kebabs are considered one of the best dishes for the parties and people just love eating a handful of them while chit-chatting.
It won’t be wrong to call them the non-vegetarian version of Paneer Tikka as they are also barbequed and the preparation itself is going to give you some major foodgasm. Firstly, the mutton is cut into cube-shaped pieces which are later marinated in fresh herbs and a lot of secret ingredients. They are then barbequed for a long time along with capsicum and tomatoes and you can enjoy these boti kebabs with some amazing chutneys too. Head to Bade Miyan Kababs for the best Boti Kebab in Hyderabad.
The next one that we have is Hyderabadi Marag which is another one of the best food in Hyderabad. This is a special type of spicy mutton soup which is usually served in the form of a starter in Hyderabad. The soup is quite thin in consistency, unlike other soups that you would have had before.
It is prepared with tender mutton with bone and you would not mind enjoying it in starter as it doesn’t go heavy on the tummy. The usual ingredients used in preparing this soup are mutton with bone, coconut powder, cashew nuts, cream, boiled milk, ginger garlic paste, and a lot of spices. You simply can’t make out by looking at its texture that so many ingredients would have been used in its making. When having lunch or dinner in Hyderabad, don’t forget to order this first.
Dum Pukht is referred to the type of cooking which involved extremely slow cooking of meat or vegetable on slow flame. This cooking ensures that the food is covered up and it keeps on cooking for a long time to let all the flavour merge in well.
In this way, the meat and vegetables are cooked in their juices making the dish even more amazing in taste. Dum Pukht can involve any kind of dish like dum aloo, dum biryani, dum gosht etc. This is probably the only kind of dish where you can find something vegetarian to eat in Hyderabad. If you want to enjoy the best Dum Pukht style cooked food in Hyderabad then you should head to Aish – The Park for it which is located in Somajiguda.
Just like Hyderabadi Marag, Lukhmi is also served as a starter in Hyderabad and despite being one of the most typical savoury items, it is enjoyed a lot. You can call it a variation of samosa where the minced mutton is filled into a square shaped patty and then deep-fried just like the samosas.
Well, of course the taste is quite different because of the involvement of mutton and a lot of spices here and the shape is also quite different. Also, the all-purpose flour dough is prepared with yoghurt to turn it smooth and then it is filled with the stuffing. You can spot this starter in most weddings and special occasions in Hyderabad because of its popularity. You can enjoy this spicy savory item with different kinds of chutneys to increase the flavor even more. You can enjoy the best lukhmi in Hyderabad at Sahib’s Barbeque by Ohri’s.
Our next pick for what to eat in Hyderabad is Tunday Kebabi or simply Tunday ke Kebab. These are also known as Buffalo Meat Galouti Kebab which is a dish made out of minced buffalo meat. Not only they are super popular in Hyderabad but in Lucknow too.
The original of this dish is from Lucknow but as Mughlai cuisine rules Hyderabad, it went on to become popular in this part of India too. This is not only a unique dish but tiring to make as well. It is said that Tunday Kebabi involves the use of about 160 spices in it. Some of the main ingredients of this dish are minced buffalo meat, garam masala, crushed garlic, powdered cloves, vinegar, yogurt and a lot more. Head to Siddique Kabab Center for the best Tunday Kebabi in Hyderabad.
Hyderabad has got this major influence of non-vegetarian dishes in its cuisine which is quite visible through this list here. The last option that we picked for this list is Mutton Dalcha which is another non-veg recipe and quite an exotic Hyderabadi dish.
You are going to find more use of mutton in Hyderabadi cuisine than chicken because of the flavour. In this unique dish, mutton is used with a lot of pulses and spices. Some people also use different types of vegetables in it as well.
This is a dish which has got a lot of variants in the city like different kind of pulses and use of vegetables in it along with mutton. Each type of Mutton Dalcha brings out a different kind of flavour which is quite amazing. You can head to The Fisherman’s Wharf for the best Mutton Dalcha in the city.
For Dessert, You Can Try These Sweets in Hyderabad
Apparently, Hyderabad is not just about kebabs and Biryanis and Mutton and you can actually enjoy some really delicious sweet dishes here as well. We are bringing you some of the Hyderabad famous sweets that you should definitely try out when visiting the city. Because who doesn’t want some mouthwatering dessert after heavy dinner?
You must have eaten this sweet dish before but the taste that you will find in Hyderabad is irreplaceable. Also known as Double Ka Meetha in the city, Shahi Tukda is quite popular and enjoyed a lot in the local households. These are basically fried bread slices in desi ghee and then soaked in reduced milk which is served with a lot of dry fruits.
Jauzi Halwa is a rather iconic sweet dish being served in Hyderabad since earlier times. This is one delicacy which has taken over the entire country and tastes phenomenal. This is a rather heavy delicacy which is made out of sprouted wheat flour, loads of desi ghee, milk, saffron and kewra water. You will get the best Jauzi Halwa at Hameedi Confectioner’s which is a shop running from the past 100 years.
Wondering what to eat in Hyderabad then you should head towards one of the sweets shops to try Sheer Khurma. The meaning of Sheer Khurma is Milk with Dates in Persian and it is indeed the essence of the dish too. This is a special type of vermicelli pudding specially prepared at the time of Eid in Hyderabad. But you can find it easily in the city at any time of the year.
The name as well as recipe of the Shahjahani Mitha is quite unusual and iconic. This is actually an exotic tomato halwa. Although it sounds unbelievable but this dish tastes heavenly and prepared by blending sweet flavors of tomatoes in it. This is one unique sweet dish that you have to try when you are visiting Hyderabad.
Take a Cultural Walk Through Hyderabad
Never miss this! Do you want to explore the City of Nawabs? Join the heritage walk, a walk to know the more than before. A certified guide will be there to accompany you and this two-hour walk will show you the best and worse side of history and the state. Exposure to the history of India and seeing the large structures and many beautiful mosques will be a mesmerizing experience.