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Hyderabadi Cuisine

It’s mid-June, finally a reprieve from the summer heat and the monsoons have descended. The entire city of Hyderabad is decked up for the holy month of Ramzan. Every year the month of Ramzan means an entire month of fasting and also Haleem, the beloved dish that Hyderabadis await to gorge on this time of the year. Even though a lot of hotels have now started serving it round the year, but the zaika of this Hyderabadi dish can be felt only during the month of Ramzan. Topped with fried onions, mint and several other versions that each hotel has given its own twist, there is no beating Hyderbad’s love for Haleem and Biryani.

Haleem At Kebab Theater, Lemon Tree Hotels

It’s that time of the year when people ask “Haleem Khaye?” or “Where do you get the best Haleem?”. So we’ve made a list of top places famous around the city of Hyderabad for you to try and indulge your tastebuds. The list is not ranked,  and it lists the top in no order.

  1. Pista House: The past few years has seen the rise of Pista House as the brand ambassador of Haleem for Hyderabad. Some might consider it just a little above-average, the global appeal of Pista House is unmatched to any other eatery. They also deliver outside Hyderabad through Gati Courier. The original outlet is at Charminar but many makeshift stalls are set up around the city. The green tubs are hard to miss. They also have a vegetarian version.
    Pista House Haleem
  2. Shadab: No visit to Charminar is incomplete without a drop-in at Hotel Shadab. The Haleem at Shadab is served with Zabaan and boiled egg. It’s a little bit spicier than the regular Haleem.
  3. Green Park Hotel: ‘Once Upon A Time’, the specialty restaurant of Green Park, Ameerpet serves Haleem throughout the year and also has it part of their midnight buffet. The Haleem is extremely smooth and very well made.
  4. Café 555: Many of the city’s locals swear by Café 555. The best part about the Haleem at Café 555 is the variety of innovations you get along with your Haleem. Haleem topped with Chicken 65, Zubaan etc… are just to name a few of those. The shorba on top is the extra punch you’ll need to give the flavor to the haleem. A lot of bones lately has been a drawback for me personally.Cafe 555
  5. Café Bahar: The original Café Bahar at Basheerbagh is famous for it’s brilliant Biryanis and it’s Haleem. They have great combos during the Ramzan season and you get a bottle of coke with your Haleem too.
  6. Hotel Iqbal: One of the few hotels which serve authentic Hyderabadi food as part of their menu. The Haleem at Café Iqbal is completely different than the regular fare you get around Hyderabad. They serve the Iranian version of the Haleem made with real saffron.Haleem At Cafe Iqbal
  7. Alhamdulillah: Along with the amazing Tala Hua Gosht that Alhamduilillah is famous for, they also serve a delectable Beef Haleem.
  8. Hotel Rumaan: Rumaan in Tolichowki is famous for the beef version of the Haleem. Opened till late into the night, the Haleem is priced very moderately and attracts the people who like the heavier meat.Hotel Rumaan
  9. Hyline: The Haleem at Hyline, Koti is meatier and the aroma of the spices and ghee oozes with every spoon. One of the must try places during Ramzan.
  10. Nayaab Hotel: Nayaab’s take on Hyderabad’s most famous Ramzan dish is a bit spicier than the regular ones. Topped off only with fried onions and a dash of lime, there is also a generous amount of oil added to give it that extra seasoning.
  11. Grand Hotel: Grand Hotel’s version might not be the best, but it certainly is one of the oldest eateries serving Haleem since 1946. It’s riddled with a lot of bones and also bland comparatively.Hotel Grand Haleem
  12. Madina Hotel: Eons ago, precisely 70 years back, Madina Hotel in Patherghatti, Charminar used to be the only hotel around serving Haleem commercially in Hyderabad. It still continues to have it’s loyal customer base till date. After the fire gutted the main hotel they never have been able to resurrect. But for those glorious times they get a special mention.
  13. Shah Ghouse: The friendly rivalry between the biggest hotels to serve their customers during Ramzan spills onto the streets quite literally. The waiters of Shah Ghouse can be seen waving the menu, to invite them in both at their Charminar and Toli Chowki outlets. It is flavorful, light but like many of the eateries lately, they too seem to have gotten a lot more bones in their Haleem.Shah Ghouse
  14. Hotel Niagara: Niagara Hotel is one of the city’s oldest and famous Biryani Joints. It also serves Haleem 365 days a year and sees great-takers during the Ramzan month.
  15. Chai Shop, Taj Banjara: In the mood for some great coffee and Haleem, the Chai Shop in Taj Banjara is open 24 hours and also serves Haleem throughout the year. It is served along with a sheermal.Haleem At Chai Shop, Taj Banjara
  16. Bawarchi: Bawarchi is a name so synonymous with Hyderabad that it’s given rise to so many replicas throughout the city. But the original outlet at RTC ‘X’ Roads serves some of the most delectable Haleem during the Ramadan month.
  17. Lajawab Haleem: If you ask any of the locals around the Barkas as to which is their destination for Haleem is? They’ll redirect you towards Lajawab Chicken Center right opposite Mataam-Al-Arabi which makes a delicious Chicken version and also one of the best Suleimani Chai in the city.
  18. Sarvi: The Irani Haleem served at Sarvi is sure a crowd-puller. Located on Road No. #11, Banjara Hills, the Haleem is made of mutton and wheat alone. The spices used are more flavorful and with a dash of lime wedge on top, a bowl of Haleem is scooped clean in minutes.Sarvi
  19. Hotel Sohail: Famous for it’s divine Malai Paya and many other Hyderabadi dishes, the Haleem at Hotel Sohail in Malakpet is quite amazing. Topped off with diced cashews, diced mint leaves and caramelized onions, it tastes heavenly.
  20. Mandar: The Yousuf Tekri complex houses some legends of the Hyderabad eatery scene and then there is Mandar. It is one of the oldest outlets serving the dish and is also famous for it’s exquisite Biryanis too.

Every nook and corner of the city has stalls set up during the Ramadan and there is no denying the passion that Hyderabad has for it’s Biryani and Haleem. Lately there has been different variations like the Fish and low-calorie Emu interpretations too. Do let us know your favorite Haleem outlets below in the comments.

We shall be conducting a Haleem Walkathon during the month of Ramzan. Like our page FoodDrifter or mail us at fooddrifter@gmail.com for further updates.

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Rivaayat stands for tradition or customs. Kanak at Trident Hyderabad has come up with a beautiful initiative that helps you discover the traditional forgotten delicacies. When was the last time you remember having the traditional dishes from across the country like the delicious Galavat Kebab or Purani Dilli Fried Chicken Kebabs. Most of the heritage dishes have lost their originality and some of these recipes get lost down the line because they were not documented.

Rivaayat at Kanak, Trident strives to capture the nostalgia of flavors with their food festival this time.

The Table Setting

Indian street food has always been rich on flavors on taste. From the Jama Masjid to Aminabad to Charminar, Rivaayat captures the essence of those dishes. The menu at the food festival covers a nostalgia of flavors as it takes you on a gastronomic passage through Awadh, Punjab, Delhi and Hyderabad. The Master Chefs at Trident Manik Magotra, Siddarth Sharma and Sandeep Bhattacharya visited various khaansaamas across the country to hone their skills and curate a traditional experience.

The Menu Awaits

We had the chance to try the menu at Kanak, Trident Hyderabad for the ongoing Rivaayat festival.

As we began our pilgrimage through a beautiful menu laid out in front of us, we were quite excited to have some of the best dishes that hold memories and have been a part of our childhood growing up.

We were first served the Rampuri Paneer Tikka. Rampuri cuisine is one of the most evolved of royal Mughal cuisines known especially for its innovative creations. The Paneer was extremely soft and freshly made. With strong flavors of clove marinated in Yogurt and Chili, the Rampuri Paneer Tikka was stunningly delicious.

Rampuri Paneer Tikka

The vegetarian item on the menu continued on with the Soya ka Tootak. Elegantly golden brown and snuggled in the crisp semolina balls was spiced Soya beans. Because semolina is deep fried, the outer layer can tend to go hard and is meant to be had piping hot. By the time we were done with the photos of the dish we encountered the cold hard crust. But we scooped out the inside and the spiced soya beans was delightful. It pairs perfectly hand-in-hand with a glass of white/sparkling wine.

Soya ka Tootak

Fond memories of Delhi, wandering in the Jama Masjid area, which is a treasure trove of great food and sinking in to the exquisite fried chicken from around the streets remains a memory. The spice mix of the kebabs in various eateries is still a secret with them being handed down the generations in the family. Every family kept their own version of the spice mix a close guarded secret. The Purani Dilli Fried Chicken Kebab tasted exactly like what we had before and has gotten the spice mix perfect. Impeccable and marvelous, this is an absolute must try of all the appetizers.

Purani Dilli Fried Chicken Kebab

Of the starters of the day which didn’t stand out for us were the day Machi Amritsari. The bhetki hadn’t been marinated enough and was a lot less on the salt. We were also quite excited about the Galavat Kebabs, but it didn’t hit the right flavors as intended. The mincing of the meat was perfect but the salt dominated this time around. So small tweaks which can be corrected and these dishes will be perfect.

Machi Amritsari And Galavat Kebabs

Being hardcore non-vegetarians, the meats hadn’t lived up to their expectations from the appetizers section other than the impeccable Purani Dilli Fried Chicken Kebabs. But little were to know that the main course were to blow us away.

The Bharwan Amchori Bhindi aur Pyaaz has to be eaten to understand how meticulously beautiful okra can be cooked. It is cooked in amchur or raw mango powder with stuffing of masala and lot of onions. The first bite in and you are left wanting for more. The spices hit the right note for your tastebuds.

Kadhai Paneer has been a regular in many of the North Indian home since long. Hence it is unmistakable to not have it part of the menu and for us, it turned out to be average at best.

Bharwan Amchori Bhindi

A bit of Pindi Chole on the plate with butter naans and all is great in the world. It reminded me of pure Delhi and Punjab flavors as soon as I had that first morsel of the Pindi Chole. But can a North West Frontier cuisine be complete without the Butter Chicken. It shall be a resounding ‘NO’ from us and let me tell you the Butter Chicken at the Rivaayat festival was elegance on a plate. Loaded in butter and meat, its heaven on the plate. We always prefer a little more creamier texture, but this will work wonders on your tastebuds nevertheless.

Main Courses At Trident

Maratban ka meat is traditional lamb curry cooked in an earthen pot. The name maratban comes from the pot which is used to store pickles in many Indian homes. It has a slight pickled flavor. Back to a recipe from the streets of Old Delhi for anyone who has been to Karim’s or Gulati is the Purani Dilli ki Nihari. The lamb pieces in the gravy were extremely succulent with lots of flavor and the aroma of saffron to it.

Purani Dilli ki Nihari

The deserts included Dudhi Halwa and Gulab Phirni. The Dudhi Halwa is a pudding made of bottle gourd. It was loaded with dry fruits and we also found sesame to be part of the pudding too. The Gulab Phirni had a beautiful rose flavor to the rice pudding and a tuile to bite into as you enjoyed your subtly flavored Phirni.

Dudhi Halwa And Gulabi Phirni

Rivaayat will take you through a culinary journey with the traditional of recipes from India on a single platter. The festival will be at Kanak from 22nd March – 5th April at Trident Hyderabad. It is a definite must try if you want to experience history through food for Dinner.

Pricing – Rs. 2000 per couple average on ala carte.

Rivayat Festival


For reservations, call: 91 40 6623 2323 OR e-mail: happenings.hyderabad@tridenthotels.com

Venue and Dates: Kanak, Trident, Hyderabad from March 22nd – 05th April, 2015

Timings: Dinner only.

Kanak - Trident Hyderabad Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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