Culinary experiences Food India Travel

Hyderabad cuisine and offbeat places to eat

Hyderabad cuisine - offbeat places to eat
Deepti Beke
Written by Deepti Beke
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There are so many cities in India those enhance the richness of Indian culture. Hyderabad is one such important city. Although 400 years old city, it has a perfect blend of the grace of ancient history and the glamour of the latest technology. I am sure you must have already gone through our detailed Hyderabad travel guide. Here’s our next blog on the Hyderabad cuisine and more specifically Biryani and places where your can devour it! So here’s a small list of foods you should not miss and offbeat places to eat them!

Read: Hyderabad travel guide

History of Hyderabad cuisine

Hyderabadi is a foodie at core. Spicy and sour taste is the highlight of the cuisine. Use of tamarind and molgopodi is in abundance. And of course rice has its own royal place in the cuisine! Although, someone says Hyderabad and we can hear only Biryani, that closely the two are related. But believe me there are many more things to Hyderabad cuisines than just Biryani.

You can see Turkish, Afghan and Farsi influences on all the dishes, as it was ruled by Kutb Shah and Nizams for almost 400 years. Nizams were foodie at heart! so no wonder, Hyderabad cuisine became richer with every generation.

There is also one fun story which shared from generation to generation. When Nizam first came and tasted Hyderabadi cuisine he was served with kulcha. And he liked it so much that he even included in his emblem. There are many such stories related to the Hyderabad cuisines. And it is more fun to devour exactly like the Hyderabadis do – with fervor and devotion!

Foods in Hyderabad cuisines you should not miss

It is said that you cannot understand a culture, unless you have been introduced to its foods.

” Four centuries of recorded traditions, a heady mix of Mughal, Persian, Turkish, Arab Telangana and Andhra influences held by a people immensely proud of their culinary heritage all come together in classic, justly famous dishes, some of them with GI tags. From roadside eateries to stately homes, food has roots that run equally deep”

–  Chef and Owner of  Biryani Art  , Mr . Dharmender Singh … A famous Chain of Restaurants  in Delhi / Noida / Gurgaon

So when in Hyderabad you have to have these dishes, else you cannot claim that you have been introduced to Hyderabad culture –

Plan these experiences with our travel planning guide!

Hyderabadi Kachchi Biryani

Biryani is not new to India. Right from the period when it was introduced by the Persians accordingly to some legends, chefs in India have created different variants of this dish. However, the Hyderabadi Kachchi Biryani remains the ‘king of biryanis in India’. It got introduced as a way of providing one pot meal to the soldiers. But the recipe now being created in Hyderabad is no less wondrous than any other creation.

The recipe is prepared in dum style and the technique is in the layering of meat, masala and rice. Also the rice in biryani remains separate but the meat becomes soft after being cooked. The aromas of spices permeate into all the layers of Biryani. It is then garnished with saffron water and coriander. You can get this dish served in many places to eat in Hyderabad.

Shikampuri Kebabs

Certain Hyderabad kebabs like the the famous Shikampuri or Shami kebab or the Tutak kebab have interesting stories around their origins. Shikampuri in Farsi language means ‘my belly is full’. Here actually the belly of the kebab is stuffed with stuffing made out of hung curd, onions and chilies. This recipe comes straight from the royal kitchen of Nizam and is a main item on Iftar menu. These kebabs generally are prepared on stone grill giving it a smoky flavor.

Hyderabadi Brinjal curry

Here’s one vegetarian dish from the Hyderabad royal kitchens you cannot miss. It is full of spices, but has the sambhar masala and tamarind giving it the sour flavor of south India. You can get this dish in many places to eat in Hyderabad.

Hyderabadi Haleem

This dish originates from Arab dish called Harees (meaning mash) and forms main attraction of Iftar meal. It is said that this dish is created 1500 years back by Paigambar Mohammad himself and entered India by the soldiers route. This exquisite dish is nothing a mutton stew with lentils, spices and wheat. Instead of tamarind lemon is added to give the sour taste. Its a slow cooking recipe and can take anywhere up to 8 hours to prepare in a bhatti or open flame vessel.

You will also like: Iftar meal planning 

Mirchi Ka Salan

Mirchi ka salan or green chilies curry flavored by coconut and spices. It is served as side dish with Biryani at many places to eat. There is a legend which says that this dish might have originated in Akbar’s royal kitchen and prepared specifically for his coronation. Another legend says it was created locally in the kitchen of Qutb Shah, though never as a side dish to biryani. Whatever may be its origin, the version we get today in Hyderabad is totally lip smacking. The taste of biryani feels incomplete without this dish!

Offbeat Places to eat in Hyderabad:

You have to visit these places to eat and experience the deliciousness of Hyderabad cuisine in various themes. Make sure you include these in your Hyderabad travel itinerary.

Cloud Dining:

This is a brand new restaurant in Hyderabad, opened in 2019 takes you high up in the skies. You would be served a 5 course meal while hanging at an height of 160 feet. The restaurant operates in the evening and the sight of all lit up Hi-tech city adds to your experience! There are three dinner options at night in this restaurant and the first one starts at 6.30pm. The ride is for approximately 45 minutes and you will enjoy it thoroughly!

Dialogue in the Dark:

Dialogue in the dark gives you completely different experience of eating is dark. This chain of restaurants has its presence in around 41 countries. As you enter the lobby of this hotel you have to to submit all the light emitting devices like your mobile phone on the counter.

Enter the hotel with a stick and you would be guided to your seat by blind people who are well versed with the place. It would be pitch dark inside. The waiters would bring you the meals that you have chosen. The people serving you meals are also visually impaired. They would guide you through what is present in your plate.

People visiting this place say that its a different experience altogether. And delicious one too as all your other senses are heightened once you cannot see. This experience also helps you be sensitive towards differently abled people.

Ohri’s Gufa:

Ohri has a chain of restaurants in Hyderabad and one of them is Ohri’s Gufa which is a cave themed restaurant. Yes, this restaurant would take you around hundred years back in the cave with dim lights, spooky voice and jungle theme. The food is simply delicious! So get ready to indulge in this culinary experience at a cave.

Kaidi Kitchen:

Get ready to be arrested and  have some amazing food in the jail. Don’t get scared ! We are taking you to the the kaidi restaurant in Hyderabad. The restaurant follows the Jail theme to the fullest. From the entrance to the kitchen manager dressed as inspector to bars, cells and handcuffs – everything is based on on jail theme. You would be served by the inmates of the jail or by police officers. This is a pure vegetarian restaurant and the food served here is loved by many.

Silver Metro:

Ohri’s Dine in a metro brings to you the chance to you have your food in a metro with beautiful interiors. They have also built a platform i.e a railway platform.  This restaurant is located bang opposite the Gufa restaurant. This is a very old restaurant and a weekend ritual for many locals too. You dine on the railway seats and even have the bars and chains as you have in the railway. So, if you are a railway lover you would definitely love this restaurant!

Hyderabad is a perfect place for restaurant hopping. You will find many places to eat in every nook and corner. Not just these restaurants or the famous Paradise Biryanis, but the street food is also an incredible part of Hyderabad cuisine.  Plan your travels to include all these experiences of Hyderabad!

After all that is why we travel, don’t we?

Let us know whether you liked our collection of Hyderabadi food and offbeat places to eat them!

Happy travels!!

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About the author

Deepti Beke

Deepti Beke

A software engineer by profession and a traveller by heart,that is what describes me the best.If given a chance I would gladly like to live out of suitcase. I plan trips whenever I am happy, whenever I am sad, whenever I am stressed..in short everytime :-)
​Reading and writing are my other passions and a perfect day for me would be a day spent with a coffee and a book!
My favourite book is The Secret and I am a strong believer in law of attraction and it has always worked for me!

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