From heavy, spicy curries to stews and starters, the cuisine of Hyderabad is rich and mostly uses meat.
Hyderabad, the land known for its biryani, is home to other popular dishes, too. Some of these dishes have been well known since the time of the Mughal emperors. From heavy, spicy curries to stews and starters, the cuisine of Hyderabad is rich and mostly uses meat. We recommend five dishes to include in a shahi feast:
The word ‘lukhmi’ has been derived from the Arabic word ‘loqma’, which means morsel. A samosa-like snack, lukhmi is made up of a flaky outer pastry filled with minced meat (usually mutton). The mutton filling is mixed with potatoes, other vegetables and chillies. Lukhmi is flat and square, unlike the samosa, which is triangular/conical. It is served as a starter at traditional Hyderabadi celebrations like weddings.
‘Khatti’ means tangy or sour. Khatti dal is made with toor dal, which is flavoured with tamarind. The preparation may use raw mango or lemon juice instead of tamarind to give the dish some sourness, which is its main characteristic. Among all the meat dishes that Hyderabad has to offer, khatti dal is one for vegetarians and may be enjoyed with rice or chapati. The tadka used for this dal includes mustard seeds and curry leaves.
Mirchi ka salan
Mirchi ka salan is an Urdu phrase: ‘mirchi’ means chilli and ‘salan’ is essentially curry. Usually served as an accompaniment to Hyderabadi biryani, mirchi ka salan is a spicy dish made with green chillies that have been cooked in a peanut gravy. It also uses tamarind paste, sesame seeds and coconut. Mirchi ka salan is similar to the Maharashtian dish mirchi che panchamrut, which is traditionally served with puran poli.
A spicy mutton stew, Hyderabadi marag may be eaten with sheermal or roomali roti. It is made using mutton on the bone, along with milk, cream, cashews, onions, ginger, garlic and spices like cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, black pepper and green chillies. Hyderabadi marag is a popular starter at Hyderabadi weddings and makes a wholesome, comforting meal, especially on cold days.
The word ‘pasinde’ has been derived from the Urdu word ‘pasande’, which translates to favourtie. A prominent dish during the reign of Mughal emperors, gosht pasinde (or pasinde) is made with mutton that has been marinated in yogurt and spices for hours. The meat is flattened and cooked with onions, potatoes and chillies to form a spicy curry. In Pakistan, pasinde uses beef instead of mutton.