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Hyderabadi Cuisine is a princely legacy of the Nizams, is a blend of Mughlai and Persian cuisines. The use of ingredients is carefully chosen and cooked to the right degree and time. Utmost attention is given to picking the right kind of spices, meat, rice etc. Therefore, an addition of a certain herb, spice, condiment, or combination of all these add a distinct taste and aroma. Traditional utensils made of copper, brass, earthen pots are used for cooking. All types of cooking involved the direct use of fire.


There is a saying in Hyderabad, cooking patiently or ithmenaan se is the key; slow-cooking is the hallmark of Hyderabadi cuisine.

A 400-year history is behind the culinary delights of Hyderabadi food. It evolved in the kitchens of the Nizams, who elevated food to a sublime art form. Hyderabad cuisine is highly influenced by the native telugu food where rice and spices are widely used to great effect.

In the past, the food was called Ghizaayat. The cuisine is linked to the nobles, who religiously maintain the authenticity of the past, and the recipes are a closely-guarded secret.

The royal cooks are known as Khansamas. They are highly regarded by the nobles.

Shahi Dastarkhan is the dining place, where food is served and eaten. A chowki is a low table, instead of a dining table and cotton mattresses for squatting and bolsters for the back rest. The Dastarkhan is revered in the noble household.

The herbs and spices used and the method of preparation give the dish their name.

On Formal occasions, the food is garnished with warq (a very fine, pure silver leaf created by prolonged hammering and flattening of a small piece of silver).

Hyderabadi Biryani is Hyderabad's most famous meat-and-rice dish. An authentic meal of Hyderabad invariably includes a Mutton Biryani. Chicken and vegetarian biryani are also popular.

The Nizams served some 26 varieties of Biryanis for their guests.

Types of Biryani

  • Hyderabadi Biryani Lamb and Rice - A traditional celebration meal.
  • Kachchi gosht ki biriyani - raw meat is stir fried with spices(masalas) for couple of minutes and then covered with rice and put on dum.
  • Dum-pokht biryani - slow-cooked biryani.

Side Dishes

  • Mirchi ka salan, Chilli Curry - accompanies a Biryani
  • Dahi chutney, curd (not sweet) mixed with onions, green chillies.

Hyderabadi Haleem


Haleem is a seasonal delicacy of wheat & meat, and cooked for hours to a porridge-like paste. This traditional wheat porridge has its roots in Arabia, known as harees.

Haleem is a seasonal dish which is made during Ramzan (Ramadan).

The high calorie haleem is an ideal way to break the ramzan fast. Haleem means patience, because it takes long hours to


prepare (often a whole day) and served in the evenings. It is a popular starter at Muslim weddings.

Curries & Starters

  • Bagara khana - Basmati rice delicacy.
  • Baghara baingan - Stuffed Eggplants, a delicacy where tender and fresh brinjals are stuffed with grounded peanut-coconut mixture and cooked in a rich and creamy paste.
  • Dalcha - Mutton and Lentil delicacy.
  • Murghi Korma - Chicken curry
  • Hyderabadi Kheema - A popular mutton-mince curry.
  • Paaya -
  • Chakna - A dish made out of Goat intestines and tripes cooked with flour and other spices.
  • Pathar-ka-Gosht - Mutton/lamb deep-fried on a stone slab found in Hyderabad.
  • Dum-ka-Kheema
  • Muthhi Key Kebabs - Meat balls (goat)
  • Beja Fry - A goat's brain deep fried delicacy.
  • Do Pyaaza - A curry made from lamb, onions, butter etc.
  • Chugur Gosht - Lamb & Tender tamarind leaves curry.
  • Boti Kabab - Minced meat delicacy.
  • Bhuna Gosht
  • Tamate ka Kut - made with tomatoes and often boiled eggs are added to it.
  • Katti Dal
  • Rawghani Roti - A type of Bread.
  • Pasande Kabab
  • Khagina - made with onions and the fried eggs.
  • Kabuli
  • Nihari - A breakfast dish made of Goat's feet.


  • Qubani ka meetha(Khubani-ka-Meetha) - Apricot Pudding, Toppings with almond and cream. The original recipe is a translucent liquid.
  • Double ka meetha- Bread Pudding topped with dry fruits, a derivative of mughlai dessert Shahi tukre.
  • Gil e firdaus - Kheer made from kaddu.
  • Sheer korma - Vermicelli Pudding - Sheer means Milk and Korma is a dry date fruit, is a celebration special dessert, specially made on the Ramzan day.
  • Badam-ki-Jhab known as marzipan.
  • Gaajar ka Halwa- Carrot Pudding
  • Mauz-ka-Meetha - A Banana dessert.
  • Firni - A Rice dessert.
  • Faluda


  • Lukhmi A typical Hyderabadi starter and the snack's original and authentic preparation is stuffed with mutton-mince (kheema). "Kheemey ki Lukhmi" is still served as a starter in the authentic Hyderabadi course of meal at weddings, parties, etc.
  • Dil khush - A triangular pie, which is bread stuffed with cake leftovers
  • Dil pasand
  • Chota Samosa - A crispy, onion-filled small samosa.
Double Ka Meetha
Double Ka Meetha
  • Osmania Biscuit - A nice, soft tea biscuit, gets its name after last ruler of Hyderabad, Mir Osman Ali Khan.
  • Fine Buiscuit - A multi-layered, oval shaped and sprinkled with sugar.
  • Khajoor a sweet very famous in the old city of Hyderabad , rarely found in any other parts.


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This entry is from Wikipedia, the leading user-contributed encyclopedia. It may not have been reviewed by professional editors (see full disclaimer)

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