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It is the land of beautiful poetry, beautiful cuisine and beautiful pearls…and down the centuries, the lure of bangles still persists in the hearts of millions of women who love to adorn their arms with a dazzling set of Hyderabadi bangles. Hyderabad is famous for all these and more!
Hyderabad’s 400-year-old culinary history, like its culture, is unmatched by any other state in India. In fact, Hyderabad was known for the spectacular way its aristocracy entertained. Of all the Muslim cuisine, Hyderabadi is the only cuisine in the sub-continent that can boast of a major vegetarian element. 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 key spice is chilli, which is used in abundance and is the reason for the one word used to describe Hyderabadi cuisine - fiery!
All Andhraiites love spices, especially red chillies and use it quite generously. The cuisine draws its flavour from two rich legacies - the Deccani cuisine of Nizams with its delectable biryanis (rice flavoured with meat and vegetables), haleem (pounded wheat and mutton dish) and kebabs, and the spicy Andhra style of food, laced with mustard, garlic and chillies and eaten with doles of chutney and pickle.
For a gastronomical treat the hotels, restaurants and cafes in the city provide a variety of exotic food for gourmets. Some of the most traditional Hyderabadi dishes that were probably served 400 years ago and still served today are Biryanis, Moghlai dishes, Chicken korma, Sheer korma, Double-ka-meetha, Gajar-ka-halwa. Be it the North Indian Peshawari delights, the traditional spicy South Indian or Continental and Mexican to the Chinese food or the best of Fast Food Centres, Pizzerias, snack outlets, bakeries and sweet shops, Hyderabad caters to all pockets and tastebuds.
The history of Hyderabadi cuisine has stood high like its culture and for the spectacular way its aristocracy entertained.