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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.

Govind's

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.

Breakfast At Shadab

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.

Irani Chai at Nimrah

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.

Andhra Thali

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.

Hyderabadi Biriyani

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.

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.

Pattar ka Gosht

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

Munshi Naan

 

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.

Bagara Khaana

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.

Qubani ka Meetha

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.

Double ka Meetha

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

Badam ki Jalli

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.

Special Jauzi ka Halwa

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?

Bilal Ice Cream

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.

Mandi At Barkas

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.

Haleem At Cafe 555

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There has always been this question of Buffet Vs À la carte popped a little too many times to us when asking for recommendations to eating out. We as Indians love a good spread. After all who doesn’t want to have that extra Gulab Jamun or an extra helping of that delicious chicken curry? Thus the major conundrum in taking the decision of sticking to a buffet or À la carte.

Sea Food Platter At Olive Bistro

When thinking as a group, Buffet does make for a better option. The safest bet to take when you don’t know everyone’s palettes or tastes. It’s each man for himself, stretch, stand and shove onto plates, the food items you love. But every time after a buffet I end up with a full stomach and not so satisfied meal, I know I should have stuck to the À la carte.

Buffet 1

When going for À la carte and ordering for myself at the table I know exactly what I want and which dishes I’d want to try and moreover how to want it. Sometimes it’s a good feeling knowing that the chef in the kitchen is going to pay that extra bit of attention to making and plating my order than the food in a buffet spread, left to dry and die. I don’t have to be getting up a number of times, to pick food for my plate. Just relax back and wait for the hot piping food from the kitchen to arrive directly onto my table and be served by the waiters.

Carte 2

Economically viewing, buffets stand out quite ahead. Enjoying an unlimited array of food, laid out as you can refill anything and everything any number of times does make for a practical choice. But how many times have we at the end of the buffet realized that we never could try most of the dishes on offer? That almost everything to anything was passable at best.

Buffet 2

À la carte on the other hand, you might end up with a gratifying meal, but the bill at the end of the gastronomic journey is going to cost you. For people who dislike buffets and still have to go with a group, the next best thing is the Set Menu. You get to choose the dishes that you want to be served to the group from the menu for a set pricing and needn’t worry anymore as to having your food cold from the spread table. The waiters serve your orders at your table directly too. But this too can’t be as satisfying as an À la carte order considering that the chefs in the kitchen will have to be cooking for a gathering than a particular table.

Carte 4

In all conclusion, it is a never ending decision to be made every time a party, a get together or a dining out has to be planned. Buffets are the way to go when eating out with a large gathering. But when sticking to small company or individual, the À la carte is the pragmatic choice. It all really depends on the dining experience, the food you want to eat and what you want to tuck into that small pocket you call a stomach.

Carte 3

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Cravings for a Pizza and we look at each other and go CPK in unison. The routine fare is usually the cheesy crust, the regular toppings and the same order at the nearest outlet. So you can imagine why California Pizza Kitchen has become a favorite in recent times. A new definition to word Gourmet, these pizzas are as fresh as it can be defined in a food dictionary.

So what is it about California Pizza Kitchen that has us going gaga during our recent outings? It hits all the right taste buds from the first bite. Packing in a lot of freshness, the taste of every ingredient and all the flavors topped on a beautiful thin-crust pizza and most importantly walking out completely light and happy and satisfied.

Chicken Carnitas Pizza

More of an upmarket American Diner with high chairs and conversations over Pizza making up for the most of it. Not to be of course steered away from the Akon and David Guetta tracks playing in the background but you know right from the look at the menu that this is where cheese must have finally attained peace, on the crust of pizza being dished out from the ovens in California Pizza Kitchen.

The Chipotle Grilled Chicken

Best known for serving innovative and traditional pizzas but don’t be veered away from its delicious appetizers.

The Chipotle Grilled Chicken – It’s a master dish cooked in the kitchen. Chicken Strips perfectly griddled packed with a fabulous smoky flavor from the chipotle peppers served with sides of herb ranch dressing and in-house salad is a definite must-try.

Chipotle Grilled Chicken

Spicy Chicken Supreme – Not to be steered away from is yet another appetizer that is our favorite. A typical panko coated chicken breast pieces fried and tossed in tangy barbeque sauces you could actually feel the crispiness with every bite. It might sound all regular in the description but the flavors feel so fresh when had with the tortilla salad and ranch sauce.

Spicy Chicken Supreme

Chicken Carnitas Pizza – Our usual order has been the same ever since we laid our hands on it the first time. Completely hand tossed crust pizzas topped with crisp marinated chicken strips, gouda and mozzarella cheese with the perfect layer of cilantro pesto, it is a marvelous pizza that can’t be missed.

Chicken Carnitas Pizza (1)

Watermelon Ice Tea – Accompanies our perfect meal every time. The fresh hand-crafted refreshing Watermelon Ice Tea just completes the meal. Seldom have we come across an ice tea so refreshing that has us smiling at each other with content with every sip.

Watermelon Ice Tea

Desserts…now that’s an area which is hard to not have in spite of already having one of the most satisfying meals.

Sticky Toffee Pudding – The Sticky Toffee Pudding is one of the best here at California Pizza Kitchen. Hot toffee pudding with pecan nuts completely doused in rich and buttery caramel sauce is a melt in the mouth and yes it might just be a bite of heaven.

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Masterchef Australia crazy? They also have a MasterChef Special Italian Menu till 18th Nov 2014 in their outlets and we sure are going to be back to try some of those already interesting sounding flavors from the enticing menu.

Damn all this writing is already making us crave for just that “one more” slice form the kitchens of California Pizza Kitchen.

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If it’s easy to drool and be messy and still love the food in front of you, it’s got to be a BURGER. A perfect juicy patty sandwiched between two soft buns with a delightful filling of coleslaw and mayo, sweet and sour at the same time, served with a side of chips. And yes that is how exactly we imagine a burger, one to be eaten with both hands and filling at the end of the meal.

Lamb Burger

So you can imagine the excitement when we got the notification for the “Global Burger Fest” and “Cheesecake Festival”. The menu was a bit limited, but the given options was worthy in the simple yet elegant menu. And yes “Tokyo Ramen Burger” already a craze taken from the Japan’s avenues and considered the next food creation fad to the world did feature in the menu. Last heard and seen in the Woodside Café in Mumbai’s famous burger fest, this was a welcome change to be featured here in Hyderabad’s menu.

Deli 9 Burger Festival

So we dropped in at Deli 9 for our evening snack & to catch a quick bite of the Burger fest. The Tokyo Ramen Burger is one enticing dish featured prominently and we could see few tables ordering it as well. Without wasting much time, we ordered two burgers off the menu.

Tokyo Ramen Burger – A juicy patty of chicken packed between two crunchy pan fried noodles had all the good things going for it. The pan fried noodles was a bit dry and little more crispy than expected but with the parts where the sauce soaked in, it just went right through, opening up a wonderful world of tasteful explorations that we relished. The wasabi Mayo hit the right notes and got us craving for more with every bite.

Tokyo Ramen Burger

Big Bash BBQ Chicken Burger – A big chunk of meat with the caramelized smoky onions and pickles all culminating in the right concoction of sweetness and sourness, this was exquisite. It is good at times to get your hands dirty while biting into a whole burger at once and the juices oozing out while you sink in your teeth.

Big Bash BBQ Chicken Burger

Chocolate Burger – An interesting take on the burgers here at Burger Fest was the Chocolate Burger. Gooey Brownies packed with hazelnuts, Oreo, topping it off with that enticing caramelized plum and a look at it and you know it’s going to be a delight in every bite.

Chocolate Burger

After the first round, we can’t wait to get our twitchy hands on that Towering Burger which we have reserved for the next trip back to Burger Fest.

Cheesecake Festival

Nutella Cheesecake

Dollops of Nutella glistening through the glass and the other Cheesecakes on display were extremely tempting. Red Velvet, Lemon Set Cheesecake, Rainbows and Oreos Cheesecake and can’t wait to try them all.

Red Velvet Cheesecake

A welcome difference from the regular eating-out here in Hyderabad and the fest is an extremely worth every bite.

Lemon Set Cheesecake

Chocolate Drizzled Peanut Butter Cheesecake

Cheesecake Filler Brownie Bites

Both the Global Burger Fest and Cheesecake Fest are on till the end of the month of September at Deli 9 at both their Banjara Hills and Begumpet outlets.

Rainbow Cheesecake Dip

Banjara Hills
1st Avenue, Road No. 1, Banjara Hills,
Hyderabad 500034, AP, India
Phone: 040-65506662, 7702255303

Begumpet
Shop 16 & 17, Ground Floor,
Behind Lifestyle, Begumpet,
Hyderabad 500034, AP, India
Phone: 040-66777727, 9963819502

Website: http://www.deli9.in

Deli 9 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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For a city where every resident, from all walks of life thrive on one dish and can have it for all breakfast, lunch and dinner, it is difficult to argue as to where do you get the best Dahibara Aloodum. Every resident has his/her own personal favorite. It might be the one in his street, the street where his/her crush lives, right outside the school/college they’re studying at or maybe 15 kms away so that he can make the ride simply to enjoy a dish of awesomeness.

Dahibara

Cuttack is one hell of a labyrinth for the people who aren’t accustomed to it’s lanes. If you are a newbie around and have pushed your car into one of those narrow lanes, chances are you would have already caused a roadblock with every one trying to cut through or giving you the hand signal to help you drive through the narrow roads. But the bonding of every Cuttackian has happened over a plate of Dahibara Aloodum. The love for it encompasses any other food item they would have ever had and they might just be born with the gene to already love it by default.

Spicy Aloodum

So what is it about this simple dish that has a 1000-year old city crazy about it and licking their fingers? The bara’s are soaked and left in Dahi so that all the marinating seeps into the bara’s making it a lot softer and flavorful. And add to it the Aloo Dum and Guguni piping hot with the garnishing of sev, pudina and coriander and you have got one hell of a dish licking your fingers.

Kanika Chaaka Dahibara

The numerous Dahibarawalas can be found in plenty of spots in the 52 streets, 53 lanes city. Driving to houses in cycles, setting up stalls under trees and parking their lot outside of popular places, it’d be hard not finding one every 100 metres away.

The most famous ones:

  1. Raghu Dahibara – In Bidanasi, this guy has been around for so long that people even travel from other cities all the way to have his yet. He doesn’t believe in the concept of spoons, so better be licking the spiciness off your fingers and then asking for a sweet peda to douse that spiciness off your tongue
  2. Kanika Chaaka Petrol Pump: Has since shifted base to a shop adjacent instead of opposite and you can follow the crowd to his stall
  3. Deula Sahi: One of the few places where the mitha Dahibara is as good as the savory one. Personal favorite and swear by the guguni
  4. Ishuwar and Other ones outside Barabati Stadium: Used to be good and still attract the crowds though have lost some of the sheen in my opinion

The Various Stalls Outside Barabati Stadium

So after having some of the lip-smacking Dahibara Aloodum in the city, don’t forget to ask to fill up on some of the dahi to drink up, that’s your mocktail alongside and a handful of sev to go about then after.

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The first thing which comes to mind when mentioning Vietnamese cuisine is Phở. It is one simple dish which has an entire country’s food resting on its slender shoulders. When doing a trip through the landscape of Vietnam, from the North to the South, we had the opportunity to relish the history behind this simple dish and about the nation which is so crazy about it.

The First Impressions and Origins:-

The streets of Hanoi are lined from one end to the other with vendors selling Phở. The morning breakfast is incomplete without it and if you aren’t the early riser, you may as well miss the early bowl of fresh Phở. So whether pronouncing it fuh, fur, fuuhh, this is one dish which is going to leave you with a lasting impression on your Vietnam trip. And I sure had to practice and get my pronunciations right so as not to be be stopped on the street and be corrected by a local.

Hanoi Street Food

The origins of this humble dish are quite interesting. Some say that the French Officer’s lover was asked to prepare a pot-au-feu, the classic French beef stew and she couldn’t get her flavors right and use the local spices and ‘feu’ and behold the Vietnamese Dish was born.

Contrary to what I thought, Phở actually refers to the noodles and not the soup. The Northern Vietnam version i.e. Hanoi from where the dish originated usually uses the flat rice noodles and lot less ingredients than their counterparts in the South. The other necessary terms to know are the (beef) and (Chicken) so you know correctly if to order the phở bò (beef) or phở gà (chicken).

Pho Ga 1

Ingredients and Variations:-

When cruising through the streets of Hanoi, a lot of people drive their bikes right into the shops, ordering themselves a bowl and slurping it right on their bikes as they go about their day. The best way to judge Phở is by its broth. The broth should be clear and should pack a lot of flavor with the Cinnamon, Star Anise, Cloves, Cardamom and fennel, charred onions and ginger being the most essential spices. The rice noodles follow in the broth after that.

Next comes the meat. Usually in phở gà an entire chicken in used but for the phở bò the broth is usually done by simmering either the bones, oxtail or flank with the meat in the Phở when served, very minimal. When served Phở, you get a lot of herbs for garnishes on the side, but an insider secret don’t immediately go for the garnishes and actually sip the broth before messing with the dish. The herbs were usually some very interesting ones which we had not had before like the sawgrass, a quite prickly, subtly bitter and tangy at the same time. The others were the Cilantro, Culantro, Scallions, Basil, and Thai Chilies for that adding of extra spiciness and Bean Sprouts to round off that crunchiness to the Phở with a wedge of lime to provide the tangy taste. The other sauces to round off a bowl of Phở is with Hoisin, Sriracha or Vinegar which shall be provided.

Pho Ca (Fish Pho)

Is there a way to eat Phở?

There is no better way to eating Phở than being messy and it was a great learning experience. Armed with the chopsticks in one hand and soup spoon in the other, the best way is to sip the broth first as you work your way with the noodles with the chopsticks. I was told it’s actually polite to slurp as deliciously as you like with your mouth close to the bowl, so that all the aroma hits you right through.

Important Pointers:

  1. The first lesson from a local was to control the urge to splatter my Phở with the sauces and keep it a minimal and then dash it the flavors accordingly to the taste. Phở is best when sticking to its minimalistic flavors.
  2. The next best thing was I could actually slurp and lick the end of the bowl without anyone so much as giving me the stares. In fact it is considered polite to do that and compliments the chef.
  3. A Phở is nothing without its broth, its entire life and soul. So the best is to give the Phở its necessary due before messing with its basic flavors.

Fresh Pho

A dish so simple and a dish packing in it so much exquisiteness in flavor, it definitely holds true to have been redefining Vietnamese Cuisine. Unless you’ve done your research, probably the first dish out of your mouth when mentioning Vietnam would be Phở and yes it is so much worth when had first-hand. Phở has gone global and so has its humble origins. There are a lot more restaurants serving this spectacular dish with Phở 24, being most notable among them, but the best Phở is served by the family run establishments along the streets of Hanoi.

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