From Paya To Tandoori Chai: Food And Drinks To Try On The Streets Of Hyderabad
Image Credit: Tandoori chai is made by pouring piping hot chai into kulhads that have been heated in a tandoor.

The food in Hyderabad is a tasty amalgamation of Mughal, Turkish, Arabic and local influences. The cuisine of the region dates back 400 years and includes everything from wholesome paya and haleem to falooda and tandoori chai. If you’re in the city, don’t miss out on the street stalls and hole-in-the-wall eateries that serve some great food. Here are some dishes and drinks to try on the streets of Hyderabad:


With roots in the Mughal era, paya is a stew made with lamb bone marrow. Also known as lamb trotters, lamb leg is boiled in mutton stock with spices and cooked for hours. It’s the ideal dish to enjoy on a chilly morning or evening and is sometimes eaten with hot idlis. In Hyderabad, paya can be found opposite the Mangalhat police station and also at Hotel Shadab in the Old City.


Haleem is a popular Hyderabadi delicacy, made especially during the Holy month of Ramadan. It is a thick paste-like dish made with meat, wheat, lentils and spices, which is slow-cooked for a long time. Prepared in huge pots on the streets in Charminar, the aroma of haleem wafts out of street stalls and draws customers in. Find haleem at Pista House, Hotel Shadab and Cafe 555 in Hyderabad.

Ragda chaat

A treat for vegetarians, ragda chaat is a kind of stew made with white peas under which samosas are smashed. The dish is garnished with onions, sev, fresh coriander and tangy chutneys. Many places in Hyderabad serve the snack, including Ojha Sweets and Namkeen, Gokul Chaat and Emerald Mithai Shop in Banjara Hills. 

Boti kebab

Boti kebabs are made by marinating chunks of meat in spices and grilling them to give them a smoky flavour. The streets of Hyderabad are made more appealing with the aroma of boti kebabs floating around. Boti kebabs are usually served with sliced onions and green chutney. In Hyderabad, Hotel Shadab in the Old City is the most well-known place for the dish. 

Tandoori chai

Tandoori chai is made by pouring piping hot chai into kulhads that have been heated in a tandoor. The chai froths and sizzles once poured and attains a smoky flavour, which is why it’s called tandoori chai. Find tandoori chai at Meadow Masti in Basheer Bagh and Clubs Tandoori Chai in Madhapur. 


Sweet and colourful faloodas make the perfect ending to a street food excursion in Hyderabad. Having originated in Persia, the dessert is popular across India and is served in a tall glass containing vermicelli and ice cream. Find it at Matwale Doodh Ghar and Masqati Falooda in Charminar.