4 Hyderabadi Dishes That Everyone Must Try

When you think of tangy, rich, and luscious Indian food,  dishes such as Hyderabadi dum biryani and kathi dal come to mind. Indian cuisine may be primarily vegetarian, but it also has over-the-top non-vegetarian dishes.  Hyderabadi cuisine is an integral part of South India. It is known as the royal cuisine of India. Hyderabadi cuisine is iconic and has gained a cult following globally. The cuisine is notorious for its opulence and extravagance.

What is Hyderabadi Cuisine?

Hyderabadi cuisine is also called deccani cuisine. The cuisine is reminiscent of Mughlai, Turkish, and Arabic cuisines with an influence of local Telangana and Marathwada cuisines.  The cuisine was formed during the mid-17th century Nizams period. Nizams were the rulers of Hyderabad. The Nizams were great connoisseurs of food who left behind a world-famous culinary legacy and lavish culinary heritage and traditions. 

The Nizams were the royals of India that feasted on multiple courses daily.  Food courses were served on a shahi dastarkhan  (a long table cloth laid on the floor). The Nizams were famous for their love of fine dining. They had over-the-top banquets with elaborate multiple courses and cutlery that was sourced from all over the world. Hyderabadi cuisine oozed extravagance.

Popular ingredients extensively used in Hyderabadi cuisine are coconut, tamarind, peanuts, saffron, and sesame seeds.  Slow cooking is a feature of Hyderabadi cuisine. The slow-cooked method of cooking is known as “Dum Pukht”

The cuisine is filled with tasty non-vegetarian dishes along with delicious vegetarian dishes. Hyderabadi cuisine is home to some of the fanciest dishes that will forever leave you wanting more. We strongly recommend that you try the following Hyderabadi delicacies:

1) Hyderabadi Dum Biryani

Perhaps, the top contender of Hyderabadi cuisine. This biryani takes the cake for being the most delicious of all types of biryanis in the world. Hyderabadi Biryani is one of the most popular rich dishes across India.

First, meat is marinated with ginger garlic paste, yogurt, tomatoes, fried onions, and spices such as chili powder, turmeric powder, garam masala, cardamom, cinnamon,  cloves,  and cumin powder.  The marinade is then refrigerated for a couple of hours or overnight.

Lastly, the meat marinade is layered with pre-cooked rice topped with fried onions, mint, cilantro, saffron milk, and green chilies.  The pot is covered and slow-cooked until the meat is fully cooked. The result is mouthwatering. The process may be long but it is worth the effort.

2) Mirchi ka Salan 

Mirchi ka salan is served with Hyderabadi biryani and is usually made on special occasions. Ingredients such as peanuts, coconut, sesame seeds, and poppy seeds are roasted, toasted, and made into a paste. Whole green chilies are first fried separately. Spices such as cumin, mustard seed, curry leaves, red chili peppers, fenugreek, and ginger garlic paste are sauteed.  All of the ingredients are mixed and sautéed. Tamarind pulp is finally added and mixed well. Mirchi ka salan is a creamy, tangy, and nutty curry. 

3) Kathi Dal

Kathi means tangy in Hindi.  Kathi dal is comforting and delicious with a burst of tangy flavor. Toor dal is cooked with ginger garlic paste, tomatoes, turmeric powder, and red chili powder. Tamarind pulp is added and sautéed for a few minutes.

Our Lastly, tadka of cumin seeds, whole red chilies, and curry leaves are added on top before serving. Kathi dal can be served with rice or roti.

4) Double Ka Meetha

Double ka meetha is essentially a Hyderabadi version of bread pudding. It’s called double ka meetha as bread is called “double roti” in Hindi. Bread is deep fried until golden brown. The fried bread is layered into a creamy rich milk mixture made with evaporated milk,  condensed milk along with spices like saffron and cardamom. Finally, it is topped with nuts.

Double ka meetha is a moist, luxurious, and melt-in-your-mouth decadent dessert.  It is one of the most desired desserts during Hyderabadi weddings.

Hyderabadi cuisine’s main attribute is the exotic intermingling of various spices and seasonings and the cooking techniques and recipes have been passed down by generations. The cuisine has the perfect hodgepodge of robust recipes of both South Indian and North Indian flavors. Hyderabadi cuisine is a lip-smacking combination of exquisite flavors.  Try our recommendations above, your taste buds will thank you.

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About the author:

Hira Shaikh is a die-hard Chicagoan residing in Texas. She is an avid foodie and travel enthusiast who also enjoys creating new recipes in the kitchen. Besides her corporate job, her sweet tooth and passion for food lure her to hunt down instagrammable restaurants and cafes to try and critique.

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