Regal Hyderabadi Cuisine
When it comes to Hyderabad, the first thing that comes to our mind is the Hyderabadi cuisine. The Hyderabadi dishes are painstakingly prepared and cooked. The dishes are loaded with exceptional flavour that is a treat to your taste buds. For instance, there are numerous Hyderabadi dishes such as biryanis, kebabs, kormas, snacks and much more. The cuisine is packed with flavours because the key ingredients are soaked for hours in a mixture of special herb and ingredients. Finally, the marinated dishes if cooked over a slow heat to bring out the flavour of the dishes.
History of Hyderabadi Cuisine
The Hyderabadi cuisine has a rich history and is said to have originated in the kitchens of the Nizams of Hyderabad. The cuisine is a combination of Mughal, Arabic and Turkish cuisine along with Telugu cuisine. Mainly meats are used in Hyderabadi cuisine. When it comes to history, the influence started during the reign of the Bahmani Sultanate during the 14th century with the introduction of Turkish cuisine. As time progressed, the kings held banquets with multiple courses famously called ‘Dastarkhān’. The banquet included numerous dishes along with meat cooked in a tandoor. The banquet also included fiery and flavorful slow-cooked curries and traditional desserts.
Around the mid-17th century, the state saw an influx of migrants from all over the country and more diverse cuisines were introduced. The state became famous for its Biryani, Haleem, dalcha, kebabs, tandoori and much more.
A full course Hyderabadi meal comprises of the following:
- Aghaz (soup)
- Mezban (appetizers)
- Waqfa (sorbet)
- Mashgool Dastarkhwan (main course), and
- Zauq-e-shahi (dessert)
Key Ingredients Used in Hyderabadi Cuisine
The cuisine is influenced by spices and herbs native to the state. The majority of the dishes are marinated in a mix of spices for a long time and cooked on a slow fire to enhance its taste. The trademark art of slow cooking is influenced by the ‘Dum Pukht’ method from the Awadhi cuisine. The dishes are cooked generously in ghee and oils, making them very rich. Moreover, utmost care is taken to choose the right ingredients such as herbs, spices, and condiments.
The following are the key ingredients used in Hyderabadi cuisine:
- Sesame seeds
- Betel leaves
- Stone flower
- Essences such as rose or kewra water
Cooking Methods/Techniques Used
Best Hyderabadi Dishes to Try Atleast Once in Your Life
There are numerous Hyderabadi dishes that you have to try at least once in your life. Here is a list of some of the best dishes that you have to try when you visit Hyderabad.
Must try Hyderabad dishes:
- Hyderabadi Biryani
- Kachche- gosht ki biryani
- Hyderabadi Zafrani Biryani
- Baghara baingan
- Mirchi Ka Saalan
- Paaya Nahari
- Murgh Nizami
- Murgh Badami
- Dalcha Gosht
- Chapa Pulusu
- Shikampuri kebab
- Khubani Ka Meetha
- Double Ka Meetha
- Gil – E – Firdaus
- Sheer Korma
- Hyderabadi Irani tea
- Osmania Biscuit
Best Places to Eat in Hyderabad!
Shah Ghouse Café & Restaurant, Tolichowki
When it comes to tasting authentic Hyderabadi cuisine, your visit is incomplete until you have visited the Shah Ghouse Café & Restaurant located in Tolichowki. The restaurant is famous for its dishes such as Hyderabadi Biryani and mutton paya made from goat trotters. Moreover, during the Ramadan season, long queues outside the restaurant to taste the restaurant’s famous haleem. The hale is a rich dish made from pounded wheat, spices, meat, ghee, and lentils. During the evening time, there is a rush to taste their signature Irani chai along with mutton samosas. Moreover, the restaurant is not fancy and is purely famous for its rich delicacy. Also, apart from these signature dishes, you can choose from a variety of dishes and experience the royal Nizam cuisine.
Chutneys, Banjara Hills
When it comes to Hyderabadi cuisine, the cuisine is not only famous for its meat dishes and Biryani. As mentioned already, the cuisine is an amalgamation of different cuisines, local to the state. At the Chutneys restaurant located at Banjara Hills, one can traditional vegetarian breakfast till your heart's content. The restaurant offers a vegetarian fare comprising of famous South Indian breakfast dishes such as dosa, idli, Rava dosa, poori, pesarattu and much more. moreover, the restaurant offers signature dishes such as steamed dosas, mango uttapam, poori upma, MLA pesarattu, garlic dosa, and ghee karam dosa. Also, the restaurant offers varieties such as Chinese dishes, thalis, North Indian dishes, fresh juices, thick shakes, desserts, and beverages. The breakfast dishes are served with an assortment of chutneys such as sambhar, spicy, coconut chutneys and spicy podi.
Cafe Niloufer, Lakdikapul
A legendary and traditional cafe that is located in Hyderabad. The cafe was founded by Mr Babu Rao in 1978. Head over to Cafe Niloufer to experience the true Hyderabadi cuisine. One can relish a cup of Irani chai and along with tasty Osmania biscuits. Moreover, various ingredients such as dry fruits, tutti frutti, and other rich items are added to the biscuits. On an average day, the cafe sells around 5000 cups of tea. The cafe is always crowded and one has to wait in line to sample the famous confectionery. Additionally, the cafe also serves various confectionery apart from the Osmania biscuits such as cookies, cakes, etc. The cafe follows stringent hygiene measures and the best ingredients for making their bakery items.
The iconic restaurant is famous for its Hyderabadi haleem, a popular dish available during Ramadan. The haleem is a traditionally slow-cooked dish that is made from pounded wheat, lentils, mutton, ghee, and assorted spices. The ingredients are cooked in an earthen pot over a slow wood fire for approximately 12 hours. The dish has the consistency of porridge and has its Geographical Indication tag. The dish was introduced from the Nizam rule thou ruled Hyderabad. The restaurant uses exceptional quality ingredients to get the best recipe that tingles the taste buds of many over the years. The Pista House also serves vegetarian haleem for people who prefer vegetarian fare. During the Ramadan season, the restaurant makes around hundreds of kilos of haleem and transports them all over India. Apart from haleem, the restaurant also serves Chinese food, Mughlai cuisine, pastries, biscuits, and other tasty dishes.
Hotel Bawarchi, RTC
Your visit to Hyderabad is incomplete without a visit to the Hotel Bawarchi to sample the authentic Hyderabadi Biryani. The hotel is located in Nallakunta, Hyderabad. The no-frills hotel is famous for its signature Biryani. The flavourful Biryani is made from basmati rice, chicken or meat, fried onions, and an assortment of spices. The spices used for Biryani include cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, shahi jeera, mace flower, star anise, saffron, dry lemon, cinnamon, mint and coriander leaves. The famous Biryani originated from the Nizam kitchen and is available in two varieties – Kachchi (raw) and pakki (cooked) variety. The Hyderabadi dum Biryani is cooked in am earthen pot where the pot is closed with a tight lid and sealed with dough. The ingredients in the pot are cooked over a slow traditional fire and the ingredients are cooked in the pressure generated within the pot. This flavourful Biryani is called Hyderabadi Dum Biryani, a signature dish available in the Bawarchi hotel. The Biryani is served with accompaniments such as Mirchi ka salan, raita and sweet such as double ka meetha.
Paradise Food courts
The Paradise chain of restaurants had a humble beginning in 1953 as a small cafe. The restaurant is famous for serving Hyderabadi Biryani since the 1960s. The restaurant is famous for dishing hundreds of kilos of Biryani every day to cater to the tastebuds of the Biryani lovers. Apart from the Biryanis, the restaurant is also famous for serving Dum Biryani, tandoori items, and the famous haleem. Over time, the restaurant has bagged numerous awards such as the best Biryani award and a best haleem award in the year 2011 and 2012. The restaurant uses superior quality ingredients such as basmati rice, meat, and spices for making their Biryani. Due to its popularity in Hyderabad, the restaurant has open numerous chain all over the world so that people can get a taste of the famous Biryani. Recently, the restaurant won the “Golden Spoon” award as the Most Admired Food Chain.
Hotel Shadab, Charminar
A famous hotel among the middle-class people who have taste the best dishes in Hyderabad. The restaurant is a family-run for more than 15 years and started as a canteen with humble beginnings. initially, the hotel was a cafe that served Irani chai, coffee and snacks. The dishes are made with superior quality ingredients with the utmost care. The restaurant has bagged the Hyderabad, Gold Elite Awards in the years 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2010. The restaurant is famous for its Hyderabadi Biryani, mutton Biryani, Chicken Biryani, haleem, dum ka chicken, pudina paratha and faluda. The hotel is considered to be one of the legendary outlets located in Old Hyderabad
Dum Pukht Begum's
Taste the royal cuisine at the majestic Dum Pukht Begum’s to taste some authentic dishes. The legendary restaurant is famous for offering age-old recipes with authentic flavours used in the royal kitchen. The restaurant is famous for its Dum Pukht Biryani that involves a slow cooking process. The Biryani is cooked in a sealed earthen vessel that allows the ingredients to cook in their juices. The resulting Biryani is rich in flavours. Moreover, the restaurant is famous for murgh Chandi tikka, dum pukht Badin Jaan, shahi nihari, and iconic dum pukht Biryani. You can polish the authentic dishes with a sweet that is layered using silver and a gold foil.
House Of Dosa, Banjara Hills
The state of Hyderabad is not only famous for its Biryani but also its dosas. The House of Dosa is located in Banjara Hills and famous for its assortment of dosas in numerous varieties. The restaurant boasts of a variety of dosas such as Erra karma dosa, Sachi karma dosa, cheese dosa, butter dosa, pizza dosa, ghee karam dosa, and double-decker dosa. Moreover, the restaurant is famous for serving sweet dosas such as dry fruit dosa, Nutella chocolate dosa, and special chocolate dosa. The highlight of the restaurant is the “916 KDM Gold Dosa” that is available for a whopping amount of Rs.916. The restaurant also serves a variety of idly such as Tawa idly, ghee idly, pizza idly, podi idly, and dip idly. If you are fond of evening snacks, you can savour crispy ponganalu and Tawa ponganalu. Finally, you can polish the dishes with a steaming cup of tea or coffee. If you are not fond of hot drinks, you can opt for kundalassi, buttermilk, nanari sharbat, and uppu soda.
Siddique Kabab Centre
If you want to taste awesome kebabs, you can head to Siddique Kabab centre located in Kondapur, Hyderabad. The Kabab centre offers the best-grilled dishes at an affordable rate. The centre offers a variety of dishes such as fried chicken kabab, grill chicken, hariyali tangdi, tandoori paneer, tandoori chicken, and tangdi kabab. Moreover, the centre is also famous for its other varieties of barbecue items such as Arabian chops, hot chicken, barbecue chicken, and stuffed chicken. One can also sample rumble roti with an assortment of vegetarian and non-vegetarian gravies.
Right from Biriyani to English breakfast, Hyderabad offers an enormous platter for all the foodies in the city. After reading the blog, you must admit that there is much to eat in the city. With this kind of variety in town, where would you go first? Also, remember to dine at whichever is near the hotel in Hyderabad you are staying at.