The Divine Cuisine of the Tirupati Temple

In recent times there has been a lot of interest about the dishes offered to the deity and subsequently served as prasad in the temples. Times Passion Trails had organized a “Temple Food Trail” led by Pushpesh Pant for experiencing the temple food at Mathura, Vrindavan, and Nathwada. The dishes served in the Mahaprasad of Lord Jagannath at Puri are pined for not just for the divine blessings, but for their taste too.  Lord Venkateshwara temple at Tirupati is known for its epic laddoo prasadam, but beyond that, there are many other delicacies that are cooked in the temple kitchen and offered to the Lord. The recent food promotion “A Cuisine So Divine” at The Dining Room at The Park Hyatt, Hyderabad brought some of these offerings from Tirupati into the limelight by presenting them as part of the hotel buffet.


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Dastarkhwan-E-Khas at Kebabs & Kurries, ITC Kakatiya

Kebabs & Kurries at ITC Kakatiya has always been my go-to place for quality Indian food. The restaurant rechristened back from K&K recently is known for its gourmet dishes, from Awadh, North-West Frontier as well as Hyderabad. On offer are kababs from the tandoor, angeethi, and tawa as well as a myriad of Royal curries such as qorma, salan, and qaliya.

Patthar Ke Gosht

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The Special Delicacies of Makara Sankranti in Hyderabad

The festival Makara Sankranti is celebrated with pomp and fervor in most parts of the country.  It is a major festival in Andhra Pradesh and well celebrated in Telangana too. As with all Indian festivals, celebrations of Sankranti is never complete without the lip-smacking snacks and sweets, which are served in the family homes.


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A Relaxing Staycation at Novotel, Hyderabad Airport

After a grueling work week, people adopt different ways to de-stress in the weekend. Some visit watering holes to party hard, some drive down to getaways at a distance from the city. A recent trend with is getting popular in that of a ‘Staycation’ where you spend your weekend at a location close to the city, enjoying scenic surroundings with good food, liquor and a weekend party to boot. Novotel Hyderabad Airport, close to the main city but located in a serene location with lots of greenery combines the twin benefits of having a rocking time as well as getting away from the city.


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Sofiyani Biryani, the Other Biryani from Hyderabad

When we mention Hyderabadi biryani, we usually refer to the saffron-colored spicy zafrani version which is available everywhere – star hotels, restaurants as well as Irani cafes. However, there is another version of biryani in Hyderabadi cuisine, a white aromatic rice and meat preparation called Sofiyani Biryani, which was quite popular in yesteryears and still finds favour with a select few food lovers.


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Novotel at Lucknow: A Comfortable Stay at the Heart of the City of Nawabs

I had been planning a trip to Lucknow for quite some time. The reasons for me were twofold – revisiting the tourist attractions as well as feast on the delicious Awadhi street food, while my wife also wanted to visit the Ramakrishna Mission there. Finally, in September we could plan a four-day trip there, starting with a day’s stay at the Mission, followed by a three-day booking at Novotel in Gomti Nagar.


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The NH2 Trail at Marriott: Food along the Highway from Delhi to Kolkata

I am usually quite circumspect in recommending Food Festivals. My readers who are familiar with my style know that I usually pick only a few dishes which are good in a particular festival for my recommendations, with a caveat that all that glitters is not gold. That said, the food promotion scenario in Hyderabad is changing for the better in a huge way, and recently we had quite a few outstanding fests like the Magadhi and Odiya fest at Sheraton and the Himalayan one at Marriott. The NH2 Trail at Okra, Marriott Hyderabad is one more I can safely add to this list.


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Jouzi Halwa, the Hyderabadi Dessert with Turkish Influence

The Hyderabadi cuisine has a rich collection of traditional desserts ranging from sweets made from ingredients like almonds, apricot and even bottle gourd. But, one sweet dish which had come into the city only about a century back, and gained rapid popularity, as well as the patronage of the Nizams, is a dessert called Jouzi Halwa.


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