Hyderabad’s 400-year-old culinary history, like its culture, is unmatched by any other state in India. Of all the Muslim cuisines, Hyderabadi is the only one in the sub-continent that can boast of a major vegetarian section. This has much to do with the local influences. Considering that the elite of the erstwhile Hyderabad state came from the north of India and was almost entirely Muslim, this is a little surprising. The nation’s vegetarians, of course, stand to gain by it.
Some of the salient features of Hyderabadi food are the key flavours of coconut, tamarind, peanuts and sesame seeds. The main spice is chilli, which is used in abundance and is the reason for the one word used to describe Hyderabadi cuisine - fiery!
The cuisine draws its flavour from two rich legacies - the Deccan cuisine of Nizams and the spicy Andhra style of food, laced with mustard, garlic and chillies and eaten with doles of chutney and pickle.