Don’t you think some places just compel you to give in and gluttonize your heart out? Well, if your answer is no, Hyderabad will change your mind in a snap. Here’s a list of drool-worthy dishes celebrated in the city that will make you want to book a ticket to Hyderabad right now.
There is no way in this sane world that you can miss out on this supremely delicious rice delicacy if you are in the city. Hyderabadi Biryani, incredibly fragrant and as good-looking as it is delicious, has created for itself an extensive fan following, both inside the country and outside. Luscious pieces of meat, long-grained basmati rice, and the luxurious saffron color; this dish is heaven in itself for foodies.
Chicken Shawarma, the Middle Eastern cousin of chicken wraps, is one of those sumptuous, meaty delights that Hyderabad locals love to indulge in. This decadent wrap of pita bread is generously stuffed with hot grilled chicken, and the coolness of cucumber, tomatoes, and mayonnaise ties all the flavors together for a highly satisfying mouthful meal.
Dosa, a crepe made from fermented rice, is something you absolutely won’t regret trying. As healthy as it is delicious, this South Indian dish is accompanied by fresh coconut chutney and a fragrant bowl of hot stew known as sambar. Varieties of Andhra Dosa have fillings of multiple veggies along with the usual potato, convened by a blend of magical spices and a torrent of butter. Be sure to try the Pesarattu Dosa, which is made from green gram batter, skipping the use of urad dal.
If you are having a bad day, head over to the nearest Boti Kebab stall for an instant mood boost. Boti Kebabs are succulent lamb or mutton pieces that are jam-packed with yogurt-y masala goodness. The marinade is laced with green chilies and a sharp ginger-garlic paste, which gives the kebabs a spicy kick.
Irani Chai is a beverage introduced to Hyderabad by the Persians. Unlike other Indian teas, Irani Chai is a unique blend of black tea and khoya. It has a pleasing, creamy texture, edged with hints of cinnamon and cardamom.
Osmania Biscuit is a type of cookie extremely popular in the city. Named after Mir Osman Ali Khan, the seventh Nizam of Hyderabad, this biscuit is often paired with Irani Chai. The combination works wonders, especially as an evening snack.
Hyderabad’s diverse culinary culture has adopted the Samosa as its own, hosting numerous chaat stalls that serve Samosa on a funky plate. Pieces of Samosa are tossed together with chickpeas and a selection of tangy chutneys and sev, making for a peppy munch.
Nihari is yet another iconic dish that Hyderabad has to offer to ravenous foodies. It is a lip-smacking lamb stew that is especially found in abundance during Eid. What makes this dish extra special is the fact that it is cooked overnight, allowing all the spices to percolate deep into the layers of flavor built into the dish.
A highly recommended item in the list of stews to try in Hyderabad, Haleem was introduced to the city during the Nizam Rule. Lentils, meat, and pounded wheat come together to form this delicious plate of wholesomeness, along with the Hyderabadi touch of spices, fried onion, lime, and cilantro.
If it isn’t obvious yet, Hyderabad loves its meat. Hence, the city has sheltered a wide range of cooking styles that accentuate the meat chow. Chicken 65 is one such example. With a variety of fried chicken sautéed in Chinese stir fry, this dish never disappoints.
Looking for an intensely spice-packed meaty experience? Paaya is just what you need. “Paay” refers to the leg in Hindi. Paaya is, thus, a meat dish made from lamb trotters. It is quite literally, a spicy flavor bomb that is simply waiting to explode in your mouth. Hyderabadi Paaya is definitely a must-have.
A Ramadan special sweet dish, Phirni is fragrant rice and milk based dessert that is typically served in clay bowls. It has a slightly grainy texture, and the sweetness of sugar, nuts, and at times, rose water, is perfectly balanced. Phirni is the type of dessert that even those who prefer savory over sweet will madly fall in love with.
Qubani Ka Meetha
Qubani ka Meetha is Hyderabad’s signature dessert, and hence, a must-try. It is a nectarous dish made from dried apricots and topped with nutty almonds. Qubani ka Meetha can be enjoyed with an accompaniment of ice cream or can be just had as is, with a generous dollop of malai on top.
This is a popular evening tidbit that makes people go crazy, especially when the weather is pleasantly monsoon-like. Keema refers to minced meat. Thus, Keema Samosa is a fried puff pastry stuffed with tastefully spiced minced mutton.
Fish Fry in Hyderabad is a zingy, spicy affair that is tempting beyond wits. Deep-fried pieces of fish are tossed with a hoard of chilies and spices and served with a fresh lemon wedge, crunchy onion slices, and cilantro.
Patthar Ka Ghost
“Patthar” means “stone”, and “gosht” refers to “meat”. Patthar ka Gosht is a lamb dish exclusively cooked on a wide slab of stone. This method of cooking gives the meat a sensuous, smoky flavor. Patthar ka Gosht is another signature dish offered by Hyderabad that you simply cannot miss out on.
Lukhmi is a variant of samosa that is extremely popular as an appetizer, especially in Hyderabadi weddings. It is a crusty, fried snack that is heartily stuffed with minced lamb. The mince has an amazing infusion of selected spices that will blow your mind.
Another one of Hyderabad’s favorite appetizers, Chicken Fry is an exciting plate of sizzling hot chicken sauteed with veggies, chilies, and a load of Hyderabadi spices. Curd gives this dish a cooling effect, beautifully complementing the overall heat.
Double Ka Meetha
Double ka Meetha is Hyderabad’s rendition of the Shahi Tukda. It is a bread pudding dessert wherein slices of bread are soaked in saffron and cardamom infused milk, and then baked again. The “double” in the title refers to the size of the bread, which doubles up during its second baking session.
Falooda is a milk-based ice-cream dessert, loosely resembling a milkshake. Typically, a Falooda involves a big glass of velvety coldness coming from rose syrup, milk, a big scoop of ice cream, plentiful toppings of sweet basil seeds, vermicelli noodles, and dry fruits. This dessert originated as “Faloodeh” in Persia and traveled to India to rule the hearts of foodies for all time.
Hyderabad has a rich culinary heritage, and the city has managed to keep it alive and thriving. Every mouth-watering dish here is an extravagant treat fit for royalty.
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