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Hyderabadi cuisine (native:Hyderabadi Ghizaayat) also known as Deccani cuisine of India, was developed after the foundation of Qutb shahi dynasty by Sultan Quli, promoting the native cuisine along with their own. Hyderabadi cuisine had become a princely legacy of the Nizams of Hyderabad State. It is an amalgamation of Mughlai, Turkish and Arabic along with the influence of the native Telugu and Marathwada cuisines. Hyderabadi cuisine comprises a broad repertoire of rice, wheat and meat dishes and the skilled use of various spices, herbs and natural edibles.:3:14
Hyderabadi cuisine could be found in the kitchens of the former Hyderabad State that includes Telangana, Marathwada region (now in Maharashtra), and Hyderabad Karanataka region (now in Karnataka). The cuisine also contains city-specific specialities like Hyderabad (Hyderabadi biryani) and Aurangabad (Naan Qalia), Gulbarga (Tahari), and Bidar(Kalyani Biryani).
The cuisine emphasises the use of ingredients that are carefully chosen and cooked to the right degree and time. Utmost attention is given to picking the right kind of spices, meat, and rice. Therefore, an addition of a certain herb, spice, condiment, or a combination of these adds a distinct taste and aroma. The key flavours are of coconut, tamarind, peanuts and sesame seeds which are extensively used in many dishes. The key difference from the North Indian cuisine is the use of dry coconut and tamarind in its cuisine.
Traditional utensils made of copper, brass, and earthen pots are used for cooking. All types of cooking involve the direct use of fire. There is a saying in Hyderabad, cooking patiently (ithmenaan se) is the key; slow-cooking is the hallmark of Hyderabadi cuisine. The Slow-cooking method has its influence from the Dum Pukht method used in Awadhi cuisine.
Hyderabadi Cuisine has different recipes for different events, and hence is categorized accordingly, like banquet food, for weddings and parties, festival foods and travel foods. The category to which the recipe belongs itself speaks of different things like the time required to prepare the food, the shelf life of the prepared item, etc.
Hyderabadi cuisine has evolved over centuries from foreign and native influences. The cuisine began to form during the medieval times and was reached to extend during modern period through the work of skilled chefs serving the Deccan nobility. The city of Hyderabad being the seat of former rulers was the center of many innovative techniques led by royal chefs (known as Khansamas) that eventually gave form to modern Hyderabadi cuisine.
The Deccan region is an inland area in India. The native cuisine was prominent until the Vijayanagara Empire lasted, it was during the rule of Delhi Sultanate, Muhammad bin Tughluq when he shifted the capital from Delhi to Daulatabad, the Deccan region adopted the foreign cuisines. In the 14th century when the Bahmani Sultanate was formed by revolting against the Delhi Sultanate in Deccan, the Turkish noblemen were appointed in the high positions, and introduced the Turkish cuisine, The Delhi Sultanate was eventually broke into five self declared kingdoms in the 15th century, among which the Golconda Sultanate was the most prominent until the early 17th century and during their times the Persian cuisine was introduced, later when the Mughal supremacy increased and appointed Governor in Deccan and finally when occupied the Qutb Shahi dynasty in 1668 to form the Deccan suba. It was then that Mughal cuisine was introduced in Deccan and became common among the Lashkar (war men). Eventually this two-centuries-long political instability in the region and migration has introduced Deccan with multiple foreign cuisines.:91–92:31
In Deccan medieval cuisine, banquets were common among the aristocracy. Multiple courses would be prepared and served in a style called Dastarkhān (A long cloth laid on floor on which food dishes and dinners plates are placed). Food was generally eaten by hand, served on among commons and nobility. The food was mostly meat oriented being grilled and fried in tandoor. The curry were highly seasoned and flavored by using spices. Fruits were preferred rather than dessert after main course. Once the meals are ended Kahwa (liquid hot drink) was consumed that contains ingredients to digest food. The ingredients of the cuisine varied greatly according to the seasons and festivals, and many items were preserved in the form of Pickles.:91–92:31
The modern cuisine was evolve during the Nizams in the mid-17th century, and elevated to a sublime art form. Hyderabad has a history of continuous influx of migrants from all over the world and in general from the Indian sub-continent, particularly since 1857. Most of the foreign food had been improved to suit the culinary preferences, resulting to form the unique derivative cuisine that excels over the original. Biryani (Turkish) and Haleem (Arabic) for instance is prepared all over India, but the Hyderabadi variety is ultimately form the Hyderabadi Biryani and Hyderabadi Haleem. Til ke chatuni with Arabic tahini, Persian dried lamb with beans is modified with dalcha, tanduri naan of uzbek (central Asia) to create Sheermal. Most of the modern day desserts in Hyderabadi cuisine were introduced and invented during the times of Nizams, today that had become an integral part of cuisine.:31
Hyderabadi cuisine is an integral part of the cuisines of the former Hyderabad State that includes the state of Telangana and the regions of Marathwada (now in Maharashtra) and Hyderabad-Karanataka (now in Karnataka). The Hyderabadi cuisine contains city specific specialties like Hyderabad (Hyderabadi biryani and Hyderabadi Haleem) and Aurangabad (Naan Qalia), Gulbarga (Tahari), Bidar (Kalyani Biryani) and others. The use of dry coconut, tamarind, and red chillies along with other spices are the main ingredients that make Hyderabadi cuisine different from the North Indian cuisine.:31
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, 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.
Hyderabadi cuisine is basically a meat and rice oriented cuisine, it contains a variety of ingredients that are commonly used, ranging from vegetables, spices, meats, flavors, fruits and others. In the city of Hyderabad and its urban, use of flavors, tomato and tamarind are the most common ingredients. Meat (such as mutton and chicken) dishes are prepared by the technique of dum—(sealing the dish with dough and gently simmering its ingredients over a slow fire, to increasing the absorption of aromatic spices.).
The herbs and spices used in the dish as well as the method of preparation gives the dish its name. For example, Murgh do Pyaaza is named so because Onion ('Pyaaz') is added to the dish twice, in different variations.
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).
Main Article: Hyderabadi Biryani
Hyderabadi Biryani is Hyderabad's most famous meat-and-rice dish; the Nizams served some 26 varieties of biryanis for their guests. An authentic Hyderabad meal invariably includes a mutton biryani. Hyderabadi Biryanis incorporating chicken, lamb, beef or vegetables instead of mutton are also popular.
- Hyderabadi Biryani - a traditional celebration meal of lamb and rice.
- Kachche- gosht ki biriyani - raw meat is stir fried with spices(masalas) for couple of minutes and then covered with rice and put in the Dum Pukht (slow oven).
- Hyderabad Zafrani Biryani - Saffron is soaked and mixed with the rice at the time it is put in the Dum Pukht.
- Kheeme ki khichidi- Kheema is marinated in yogurt, green chilli paste, spices for a couple of hours and cooked. Then cooked on slow flames with layers of rice and kheema mixture alternating.
- Mirchi ka Salan: chilli curry
- Dahi chutney: curd or yoghurt (not sweet) mixed with onions, coriander, pudina and green chillies.
Main Article: Hyderabadi Haleem
Curries and starters
- Hyderabadi Marag - A thin mutton soup
- Garle - A Hyderabadi snack. Spicy kheema balls dipped in besan batter and deep fried
- Angrezi cutlet- Cutlets made out of spicy kheema and pieces of bread made into a mash, coated with bread crumbs and deep fried
- Tootak- A delicacy made out of spicy kheema wrapped up in rava-butter mixture and baked
- Ande ki pakodi- Slices of boiled eggs, dipped in besan batter and deep fried
- Kheeme ke samose- samosas with kheema stuffing
- 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 ka Khorma - Chicken curry
- Hyderabadi Kheema- A popular mutton-mince curry.
- Paaya - Bone soup
- Tamate ka Kut- Thick tomato gravy served with pieces of boiled eggs
- Churri- Thick yogurt raita with chopped onions, green chillies and coriander
- Chakna - A dish made out of Goat intestines and tripes cooked with flour and other spices.
- Pathar-ka-Gosht - Mutton/lamb seared on a stone slab found in Hyderabad.
- Bina Masale Ka Murgh - chicken done with only curd, turmeric and saffron
- Muthhi Key Kebab - Meat balls (goat)
- Nizami Murg Handi
- Maghaz Masala (Beja Fry) - A goat's brain deep fried delicacy.
- Dopiaza - A curry made from lamb, onions, butter etc.
- Kubuli - Rice with dal tossed in curd and mixed together with fried onions.
- Kairi k1a Do Pyaza – Lamb meat in a spicy sour gravy
- Khurma Gosht – It is a mixture of mutton, potato and a variety of spices
- Kulfa Gosht – Chunks of Lamb in a succulent and spicy Purslane leaves mash
- Palak Ka Gosht- succulent lamb chunks in spicy spinach leaves mash
- Masala Mutton- spicy lamb curry made from peanut, sesame, dried coconut and curd paste
- Binees ki Phalli Gosht – Lamb Ribs with French beans Curry
- Sem Ki Phalli Ka Salan – Sauteed Indian broad beans
- Turai Gosht – Ridged Gourd in Lamb meat and Tomato Sauce
- Turai Methi Gosht ka Salan – Ridged Gourd in Meat+Fenugreek leaves sauce
- Baghari Turai aur Chane ki Dal ka Saalan - Split Bengal gram and Ridged Gourd Curry
- Chuqandar Gosht - Beetroot in Spicy Meat stew
- Arvi aur Gosht Ka Khatta Salan – Colocasia and Lamb meat Stew
- Kaddu Ka Dalcha – Bottle Gourd in Legume Soup
- Chugur Gosht - Lamb & Tender tamarind leaves curry.
- Boti Kabab - Minced meat delicacy.
- Bhuna Gosht
- Bhuna kheema- dry, spicy kheema. Goes well with hot, steaming rice
- Tamaton Ka Kut - Rich Tomato Saucy Curry
- Tala huwa Gosht – Braised Meat in aromatic spices and onion
- Khatti Dal - Liquid dal made with Imli.
- Rawghani Roti - A type of Bread.
- Pasande Kabab
- Khagina- Made with onions and the fried eggs.
- Hyderabadi Nihari - A breakfast dish made of Goat's feet and tongue.
- Tamatar Ghosht
- Ambade ka Salan - It is made with a leaves of Ambada(sour greens) and Mutton.
- 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.
- Dil 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.
- Shahjahani Meetha: A sweet made out of tomato pulp, minced banana and khowa.
- Firni - A Rice dessert.
- Kheer Pooriyaan. A Special dish on Eid-e-milladunnabi.
- 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.
- 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.
- Tea Biscuit - A multi - layered, oval shaped and sprinkled with sugar
- Tie Biscuit- A multi-layered biscuit shaped like a bow tie
- Kapoor, Sanjeev (2008). Royal Hyderabadi Cooking. Popular Prakashan. ISBN 978-81-7991-373-4. Retrieved 19 September 2011.
- Leonard, Karen Isaksen (2007). Locating home: India's Hyderabadis abroad. stanford university press. ISBN 978-0-8047-5442-2. Retrieved 19 September 2011.
- "'Most Hyderabadi cuisine is dying' - The Times of India". The Times Of India.
- Borah, Prabalika M (30 September 2010). "Nawab of good times". The Hindu (Chennai, India).
- Collingham, Lizzie (2006). Curry: A Tale of Cooks and Conquerors. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199883813. Retrieved 28 April 2013.
- Chapman, Pat (2009). India food and cooking: the ultimate book on Indian cuisine. New Holland Publishers. ISBN 9781845376192. Retrieved 28 April 2013.
- Shahid, Sajjad (16 August 2011). "Biryani, Haleem & more on Hyderabad's menu". Times of India. Retrieved 28 April 2013.
- A Princely Legacy, Hyderabadi Cuisine By Pratibha Karan ISBN 81-7223-318-3, ISBN 978-81-7223-318-1 
- Elegant East Indian and Hyderabadi Cuisine By Asema Moosavi, Moosavi, Asema ISBN 0-9699523-0-9
- The Essential Andhra Cookbook with Hyderabadi & Telengna Specialities by Bilkees I Latif
- 101 Easy to Cook Hyderabadi Recipes By Devi, Geeta 
- Food of India By Priya Wickramasinghe, Carol Selva Rajah
- You Are Where You Eat: Stories and Recipes from the Neighborhoods of New Orleans, By Elsa Hahne Page 47-50
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- Hyderabad Kitchen blog
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- Biryani, Haleem & more on Hyderabad's menu: An article published by Times of India