For a culinary enthusiast, Hyderabad is a treasure trove. Food in Hyderabad is not just for your tongue but for your all five senses. Influenced by the Mughals, Persians and the Telugu culture, Hyderabad evolved with a unique taste of its own. The best part about Hyderabadi food is that it satisfies the stomach without burning the pocket. Here is a quick list of seven ‘must-have’ food when in Hyderabad!
Biryani – Of course no-one can imagine leaving Hyderabad without trying the famous Hyderabadi Biryani. The recipe of the yellow tinged long grained rice was passed on to India by the Mughals who ruled over the Indian subcontinent hundreds of years ago. The Hyderabadi Biryani is rich in flavour and is served with Raita and Mirch ka Salaan. It differs from the Biryani found in northern or eastern India. The aroma is light but the sourness is more pronounced. In most of the outlets, one plate is sufficient to feed two hungry mouths. The degree of sourness may vary from one outlet to another. Paradise is the famous, expensive, chic and modern Hyderabadi Biryani joint whereas Shadaab Hotel is an equally famous but authentic one.
Pocket Pinch : INR 270-INR370.
Dried Fish – On the last leg of our Hyderabad tour, we saw many shops selling dried fish. It was clearly popular. We did not get a chance to taste them but our good friend Ankita Sonawane of Transforming Escapes helped us later by sharing her knowledge: Dried fish are super salty and added to preparations in very small quantity just to retain the flavour. It has a very strong stinky odour to it but those who have developed a taste for it find it delicious. Purva Kini of @being_philosophical adds that the best way to enjoy dried fish is by grilling them on charcoal.
Chilli Pepper Fritters – Locally known as Mirchi Ke Bhajiye, this is a famous street food of Hyderabad. Almost in every nook and corner of the city, vendors can be found selling it. Seeds are removed from the chilli peppers and the pod is stuffed with spiced coconut fillings. It is then coated with a batter of chickpea flour and deepfried in oil.
Pocket Pinch : INR 5 – 10.
Biscuits – The city of nawabs is also popular for serving excellent baked goodies. Osmania biscuits, jam biscuits are just some of the varieties of biscuits available in the bakeries. They are mostly very dry and powdery to the bite. If you are looking for something smooth and melt-in-the-mouth, try the Osmania biscuits, or go for the Kopra for something fruity and hearty. The Nimrah food joint near Charminar is pretty famous for serving these biscuits. The Karachi Bakery is another wildly popular choice of locals and tourists alike.
Pocket Pinch : INR 3-INR 6 for each biscuit.
Dilkhush – This is another delicacy made of bread. A gigantic bun bread stuffed with juicy coconut and cashew is cut into wedges. Atleast those are the two ingredients we successfully identified. It tastes sweet and is a great way to kill those small bouts of hunger. These are mostly available in all the bakeries of town.
Pocket Pinch : INR 12.
Irani Chai – The Iranian influence over Deccan India is noticeable in the cup of tea served in Hyderabad. The Irani Chai or Irani tea is extremely sweet, thick, milk tea which the modern health conscious Indian generation would prefer to ignore. Nevertheless, it is still consumed widely in the old city of Hyderabad. Almost every tea stall sells this version of tea. Hey, even if you are very health conscious, having just one cup of sweet delight would not kill you, right?
Pocket Pinch : INR 7 for half cup to 12 for a full cup.
Khubani ka Meetha – This is a dessert best enjoyed after a sumptuous meal of Biryani. Apricots are boiled until it attains a syrupy texture. The semi solid apricots are then topped with cream and garnished with cashew and almond. In case you are a dessert fan like me, the taste buds in your tongue will thank you forever!
Pocket Pinch : INR 70.
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