RCI or Regional Indian Cuisine is an event started by Lakshmi of Veggie Cuisine. This month its my turn to host the RCI event for Authentic Hyderabadi Cuisine.
I am proud to be a Hyderabadi, to have spent a significant part of my life in ‘Hyderabad‘, to come to know and learn about its exquisite cuisine by my elders. Hyderabad, a princely state, the capital of Andhra Pradesh, once ruled by the descendents of Mughal generals called Nawabs, who were awfully wealthy and lived a life in utmost leisure. Hyderabadi cuisine has the influnce of the Mughalai hauté cuisine. The once Muslim ruler of Hyderabad, the last Nizam, was a direct descendant of a Moghul governer, and was known for the sumptous feasts and his love for fine dining. Hyderabadi Cuisine is an amalgamation of the Moghul Muslim cooking methods, India’s predominant Hindu culture and the Persian Cuisine as well.
Charminar (Image Source:Wikipedia)
Hyderabadi cuisine is age-old, known for its rich and aromatic flavors, with a liberal use of exotic herbs and spices, yoghurt and ghee in their food preperations. If you are ever invited by a Hyderabadi, you will definitely witness an inexhaustible and staunch sense of courtesy, ‘adab’ and graciousness which flows in every Hyderabadi’s blood and is taught to every child born in their house to treat their visitors with. Many people think Hyderabadi cuisine consists of only Non-Vegetarian food, but in fact it also consists of a range of vegetarian dishes, containing a range of spiced vegetables, lentils, peas and beans.
Hussain Sagar (Image Source:Wikipedia)
The glory of Hyderabad, known for its minarets, pearl bazaars, the cuisine, its culture and their ‘ehtemam‘, has always been admired and respected by everyone. The ‘mehmaaan nawaazi‘ of Hyderabadis will definitely make you feel like a noble aristocrat. Food is had on a ‘Dastarkhaan’ which is the dining place where all family memebers sit together and have their food. Normally, on everday basis, a Hyderabadi has a Roti or Khushka and curry, which can be lentils or vegetarian or non vegetarian side-dishes, but on a particular occasion, when there are guests, the ‘mehmaan’ are treated royaly with supreme gentility providing with the best of the food they can provide them with with. Nihari, a slow simmered, thick soup like dish with Lamb shanks in a spicy gravy which is had with a tandoor baked bread called Kulcha or Naan is a famous Hyderabadi breakfast. The other most traditional Hyderabadi breakfast is Khichdi with Qaeema or Qageena and Khatta and a pickle, usually the Mango pickle, or the Kothmir-Pudina wali Chutney to tease the tongue and not to forget the Papads. The special lunches for occasions usually consist of Qorma and Kheema with Tandoori Roti. The ‘fruit biscuits’,etc from the famous Karachi bakery; ‘Osmania biscuits’, ‘Fruit biscuits’, ‘Chand biscuits’, ‘Flower biscuits’, ‘Tie biscuits’, ‘Rote’,etc from Rose bakery are other food items from Hyderabad that I miss a lot. Both Karachi Bakery and Rose Bakery are one the oldest established businesses with food as delicious as ever.
Food being cooked in huge ‘deg’/aluminium pots
at a Hyderabadi wedding
Some of the famous Hyderabadi dishes that I can remember now which I love and miss and crave for always are, Pathar Ka Gosht, Kacchi imli ka Dalcha, Till Ki Chutney, Qubuli, Kacchi Biryani, Double Ka meetha, Baghare baingan, Nihari, Pakki Biryani-Gosht ki–Murgh ki, Mirchi Ka Salan, Khichdi, Qageena, Kulfe ki katli, Ambaday aur chanay ki Dal, Til wali Gavar ki phalli, Maat ki bhaji, Chukke ki bhaji, Muqtalif Kofte, Chugar Gosht, Shikampur, Shaami, Do Pyaza, Luqmi, Shirmal, Kheer, Gaajar ka Halwa, Pasinde ka Salan, Bhendi Ka Khatta, Karele ka khatta, Arvi-Gosht ka Khatta, Aloo-Gosht ka Khatta, Boti ka Salan, Marag, Aloo-Methi Gosht, Besan Ka Salan, Sojini ki Phalli wali Dal, Dil Khush, Kulcha, Khatti Dal, Qubani Ka Meetha, Rowghani Roti, Mithi Dal, Mash Ki dal, Sheer Qurma, Tamate Ka Kut, Haleem, Qimah ... the list is long.
Hyderabad is known for ‘Biryani’. I have had the best tasting Biryanis when I was in Hyderabad. I do not usually get to have those kinds in restaurants here oe anywhere else in the world I where I have tried an tasted. I miss my place, where I spent my childhood, and had some of the most excellent food in my life. I enjoy other cuisines as well, but Hyderabadi Cuisine is what I will always love and crave for.
I announce RCI:Authentic Hyderabadi Cuisine for the month of August ’08. Through this event I intend to provide a collection of various Authentic Hyderabadi recipes which one can refer to whenever they want. I have seen that there are very few cookbooks and resources which write about Hyderabadi cuisine and showcase the recipes. The rare and outstanding Hyderabadi cuisine seems to be fading away. I invite all Hyderabadis and my readers and friends to come with their versions of Authentic Hyderabadi Cuisine, that they have learnt and are familiar of.
The logo that I have created for the event is, feel free to use it:
The rules of the event are:
A. Prepare and write about an Authentic Hyderabadi dish that you are familiar of starting today till September 15th ’08. Make sure to click a picture of it. It can be Vegetarian, Non-Vegetarian, One-Dish meal or a side dish, a Curry, Sweets and Desserts or Meetha.. whatever you wish, but Hyderabadi in origin.
B. Those of you, who are bloggers, shall use the logo, link back to this post (and then update later with a link to the round-up), and send me the entry in the following format:
1) Your name
2) Your blog title
3) Name of the dish
4) Url of the entry
5) Picture of the dish
C. Even those of you who are not bloggers, can send me their entries in the following format:
1) Your name
2) Name of the dish
3) Picture of the dish
D. Send your entries to me with the picture of the recipe. All entries should have a picture of the prepared dish along. If you can, do write a little explaning about the dish.
E. The size of the picture should strictly be 300 pixels wide jpg and jpeg filetypes, height does not matter. Bloggers please upload to your own server/image repository.
F. The last date to submit the recipe is September 15th 2008.
I will post a round-up of all dishes within a few days after the deadline.
So, lets celebrate Hyderarabad this month! Takecare everyone and have an enjoyable long weekend.
Update: September 25th ’08-Here’s a link to the round-up of RCI:Authentic Hyderabadi Cuisine event.