5 must-have food experiences in Hyderabad

A meal at Dilnaz Baig's home ends with a traditional Hyderabadi paan. Photo: Nishat Fatima

The state of Hyderabadi food is a bit like that of Indian sports, where cricket rises so tall, everything else becomes mere underbrush. Biryani occupies that position and everything else in the cuisine is relegated to an also-ran. You might protest this—you may have tried haleem, nihari and shahi tukde. However, there is so much more to Hyderabadi cuisine. So where do you get to experience Hyderabadi cuisine beyond the run-of-the-mill dishes you find at the restaurants? Here’s the list:

Home lunch at Lamakaan

Home lunch at Lamakaan. Photo: Nishat Fatima

A cultural space with free wifi, Lamakaan has become an integral part of the Hyderabadi cultural landscape, as it hosts plays, concerts, lectures, and also has an organic market. It also houses a canteen that serves a typical Hyderabadi home meal of khatti dal, mutton kheema and rice. The khatti dal is a runny preparation of tur dal, given its tang using tamarind water, and tempered with mustard seeds, zeera seeds, garlic and curry leaves. The flavours of the dal are balanced by the spice and umami of the kheema. Khichdi, kheema, and ghee is a widely eaten breakfast combination here. Cost: Rs170-200. Contact: 9642731329

Luqmi at Mountain Bakery

Luqmi at Mountain Bakery. Photo: Nishat Fatima

The luqmi, a crusty pastry parcel stuffed with meat, is the unique Hyderabadi version of the samosa. It seems samosas found its origin in Persia, where it was served with minced meat, dry fruits, and nuts in the court of the Ghaznavid empire. In Hyderabad, the luqmi is savoury, square-shaped and has more crust ratio than a samosa. It used to be the first course at wedding feasts but fell out of favour in the late ’90s. Luqmis are in the process of a revival now, mainly thanks to the owner of Mountain Bakery. MA Khader was one of the first to introduce luqmi to the menu in 2006. The fact that it is sold out in just a few hours proves that it is some of the best you may find in the city. Cost: Rs30. Contact: 9701007786

 

Nishat Fatima

 

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