Chef’s Special: Delectable Telugu Dishes from Chef Sakala Sankara at Dakshin

I have known Chef Sakala Sankara of Dakshin, ITC Kakatiya for quite a few years now. In every meeting I still have with him, I learn something new from him regarding South Indian food, especially the cuisine of the two Telugu states. Whenever Chef goes to another city to curate a Telangana or Andhra festival, my friends from there ping me singing paeans about his culinary skills. And above all, he is an affable and smiling chef who loves to feed you delectable food.

Mutton Podi Fry

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The Lucknow Biryani Trail

I was planning a trip to Lucknow for quite some time now. Apart from revisiting the City of Nawabs and shopping for some exquisite Lucknow Chikan, the food from Awadh was perhaps the chief motivator for me. Lucknow is known for its "dum pukht" cooking style and its kababs such as galawati and kakori are known the world over. However, being from the biryani city of Hyderabad, trying out the good biryanis of Lucknow was on the top of my mind. A few tips from friends and notes made from books read, here I was ready with my list to explore the biryani places in the city.

Lalla Biryani Lucknow

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Badam Ki Jali: Hyderabad’s Own Almond Cookies

While Hyderabad is known for biryani and haleem, traditional sweets and desserts are also no less appreciated here. Apart from the ubiquitous Qubani Ka Meetha, Kaddu Ka Kheer and Double Ka Meetha, a host of other sweets like Jauzi Halwa from the twin cities have started getting some limelight. Badam Ki Jali is another sweet which was comparatively lesser known - but in recent times this almond and cashew based sweet found in the bylanes of Old City are making waves among the discerning food lovers.


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Eat Street Asia at Marriott Hyderabad

The street food from the Orient, especially from the countries of South-East Asia, had been great attractions for me when I visited these countries. The atmosphere in some of the hawker street food markets had been electric and the diversity of dishes made the experience even more enriching.


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The New Menu at Farzi Café

It is less than a year since Farzi Café started operations in Hyderabad. In this short time, the restaurant offering contemporary and modern dishes, often with a touch of molecular gastronomy, has created quite a buzz in the city. The menu has been revamped quite a few times, bringing in delicious new dishes to provide variations to the loyal customers.


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Spiti Valley Travelogue Part 3: The Homestay at Lhalung and Visit to Chandrataal

The mesmerizing Spiti Valley extends beyond Kaza to Tabo and then Nako, after which the Kinnaur region of Himachal starts. The river flows along this route and merges with the Sutlej.  Along with a visit to Tabo, our itinerary included a day’s stay at Lhalung, one of the high altitude villages of the valley.


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The New Menu at Kanak, The Trident Hyderabad

Kanak, the Indian restaurant at The Trident Hyderabad is one of my strong favourites. This is a place which is known for its well-researched dishes, immaculate service and lovely ambience making it a diners’ pleasure. The lovely Hindustani music here is another attraction for me.


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Spiti Valley Travelogue, Part 2: Exploring the Villages around Kaza

The picturesque Spiti Valley spreads out after the Kunzum Pass from Losar to Kaza and then to Tabo and Nako, finally ending in the Kinnaur belt of Himachal. A handful of small villages dot the river bank, some even located on high mountains. Villages are connected by decent roads most of the time, some high altitude ones have a kachha road for the last few miles. Almost every village has typical whitewashed mud brick houses and a monastery. The inhabitants of Spiti are Buddhists, speak a language called Bhot, and are simple and happy people. The valley gets snowbound during winter leading to extreme hardships for the villagers, but they embrace their difficulties with a smile.


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