The city of the Nizams, the place that houses the elegant Charminar and the ‘Land of the Biryani’. The mammoth food options we get around in Hyderabad is well known. The best way to explore the Hyderabad Food in the city is to go local. Eat the dishes the locals eat, explore the hidden gems like never before and go street smart in terms of food.
We decided to put together a list of the most iconic dishes, for a one day city tour of Hyderabad. Right from the breakfast to ending with a late-night post-dinner, the list is quite extensive. If ever to cover Hyderabad in one day, these are the routes that you should take to go along on a spectacular food journey. We list out the 15 must do things in Hyderabad to be covered in a day.
1. The Butter Dosa And Tawa Idli Bandis: Yes thelas elsewhere are known as Bandis With an insane amount of Butter, Cheese and Paneer going into making each Dosa, know that you’ve started on a gastronomic journey. Ohh, and did we forget to mention that the filling too is Ghee Upma. Stop counting the calories and feel that smooth, crisp Dosa melt in your mouth, that extremely butter pan-fried idlis infuse happiness with each bite. Find your way to Govind, Laxman, Pragati & Ram ki Bandi for the best dosa’s & Tawa Idli’s. To see the first hand action in making the Butter Dosas and Tawa Idlis, watch the video.
2. Paya, Nihari, Kheema: These breakfast dishes would be a sin if not indulged in the right way. Most of the iconic hotels like Shadab, Alpha start to serve breakfast options since early morning. A plate of Bheja Fry, Palak Gurda, Nihari and Paya can be quite fulfilling.
3. Irani Chai With Osmania & Tie Biscuits: To soak in the beauty of the Charminar early dawn with a cup of Irani Chai, overlooking all its splendidness is a must-do on the list. Many Irani Chai shops are located all over the city, but best had at the historic Nimrah Café right opposite the Charminar. Best enjoyed with Osmania and Tie Biscuits, dipped in and slurped.
4. Andhra Thali: An afternoon can’t be the same without tasting the specialty Thali. Spicy, Tangy and Sweetness, all on one plate. The rest is up to you, if you wanting to slurp the rasam away to glory. The most authentic ones being the local messes like Kakatiya, Sri Kanya or Harsha Mess.
5. Hyderabadi Biryani: No day in Hyderabad is complete without Biryani. The quintessential Hyderabadi dish has had many a conversations and love affairs happen over a plate of Biryani. Bawarchi, Shadab, Café Bahar, Mohini, Sohail are to name a few the best places to entertain the taste buds to some authentic Biryani.
6. Dum ka Chai: With the sun almost setting, little is known about the Dum ka Chai than its famous counterpart Irani Chai. The Black Tea is put under heavy heat – dum before mixing with milk and being served. Head over to Café Iqbal in Goshamahal for a cup of Dum ka Chai.
7. Pathar ka Gosht: its hard thinking that meat can be made over a hot stone like the ancient times. But this city sticks to the tradition of Mutton prepared over a slab of hot stone and the outcome is pure juicy sin. Head over to Dine Hill and Bade Miyan in Tankbund for savoring this dish.
8. Munshi Naan with Marag: A walk around Purani Haveli and you’ll a line of shops making Munshi Naan, made right in an underground hearth. Best had with a gravy like Marag or fresh kebabs, this Naan can be found in mostly 4 different shapes with the Char Koni being the most famous of them. A masterpiece which hasn’t left the borders outside of the Old City. For more about Munshi Naan you can watch the video
9. Bagara Rice with Dalcha and Khatti Dal: a part of almost every Hyderabadi household, these dishes are extremely hard to come by in hotels and restaurants. Nonetheless some of the oldest eateries still do have it on the menu like the Café Iqbal, Shadab, Sohail etc.
10. Qubani Ka Meetha and Kaddu Ka Kheer: No meal is complete without Desserts. Hyderabad doesn’t lack behind when it comes to dessert discoveries. The Qubani ka Meetha (Apricot soaked in Sugar Syrup and Nuts) and Kaddu ka Kheer (Bottle-Gourd Kheer) are some of the must haves.
11. Double ka Meetha: To think the important status that this sweet enjoys after a meal is mind-boggling. A bread based sweet, a counterpart to the Shahi Tukda, it’s impossible to miss if going the traditional Hyderabadi way.
12. Badam ki Jali: Lost in history and not quite well-known, the Badam ki Jalli is near impossible to find. Even the most local people will be unable to guide as to where this is found. In a quaint little neighborhood of Aziz Bagh, the Badam ki Jalli is made by a few families only on special order. Pic Courtesy: Badam ki Jali FB Page
13. Jauzi ka Halwa: Right on the main junction of Nampally, you’ll find a small shop outlet in the name of Hameedi. Made with Jauzi (Nutmeg) and heavily laden with Ghee, the last Nizam had loved it so much that he sent a letter to name the shop after the nickname of one of his sons.
14. Famous And Bilal Ice Creams: Seasonal Fruits and along with it comes the seasonal Ice Creams. The oldest of the city’s dairies produce them freshly made from natural fruits and do make it a point to ask, what’s new on the menu miyan?
15. Mandi At Barkas: Barkas is an area completely cut-off from the main city. Known for it’s Persian and Yemenis population, they’ve combined both the food cultures together. A late night long drive and then settle over a huge plate of Laham or Faham Mandi at Mataam-Al-Arabi, Yum Yum Tree and the likes and you’ll be licking your fingers dry. Post 12 AM is the best time to head out to these place, once the late night hunger kicks in.
The lineup covers the most iconic of dishes as seen through a local point of view. Hyderabad as a city has a lot more to offer when explored. But a walk down the lanes brimming with kebabs and Biryani and you sure are going to be beginning a journey, with lots of memories and more food journey to come back.
If ever in the city during the holy month of Ramzan, when the entire city of Hyderabad is all decked up with festivities and a lot more, having to taste the Haleem should figure high on the list. The Iranians might have invented it, but Hyderabad is where it’s soul lies. Some of the city’s outlets too serve Haleem throughout the year, but most of the city folks swear by having it only during this month.