A trip to Hyderabad – just for its food!

Indian non vegetarian food has many exciting offerings in the city of Hyderabad. Early in the morning for breakfast kulchas and sheermal are eaten with nihari (also called nalli nihari) which are lamb trotters and tongue that are cooked through the night. Qabooli is a khichdi of rice and kabuli chana which is eaten with keema. The distinguishing part of Hyderabadi Kachche Gosht ki biryani is that the meat almost disintegrates while the rice remains firm. The taste of gravy or ghee does not dominate, only irregular staining of saffron gives it a unique taste. This dry biryani is eaten with a watery onion raita called boorani.
Another speciality is the Haleem, which is a finely ground paste of wheat and meat spiced delicately. Hard boiled eggs ensconced in minced meat – the nargisi kofta – are so called because when they are broken open, the golden yolk surrounded by egg white against brown meat background resembles the nargis flower sprouting from the bare earth.
Indian non vegetarian repertoire extends to uses of many types of meats in many different courses. Chakna (a dish of offal), Dalcha (lamb stewed with beans and tamarind), Lukmi (small square pastries filled with spiced meat and fried), Mirchi-ka-salan (long large chilies cooked in a fiery masala), Bhagara-baingan (whole slit brinjals cooked in a thick masala of coconut, groundnuts, sesame seeds and tamarind) are some more of the Hyderabadi dishes that have left a distinct mark on a connoisseur’s palate.
Vegetarians do not consume eggs could probably enjoy a Hyderabadi sweet dish – the very sweet, ghee fried bread pudding generously laced with almonds (called shahi-tukda in the north) is known as double-ka-meetha in Hyderabad (double for double roti which is bread which forms the base for this sweet). Badam-ki-jali is a latticed sweet made from almonds, and those who are looking for Indian non vegetarian desserts can enjoy andon-ki-peosi is a baked mix of eggs, khoya, kesar and sugar. To summarize the Hyderabadi cuisine one can say it is a superb example of imaginative use of local ingredients to create totally new dishes.

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