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Quick Bytes: Lucknowi Food Festival at Siesta Hitech

Qube Café, the coffee shop at Siesta Hitech hotel at Kondapur has been recently organizing quite a few Indian regional food festivals. Their promotions have struck a chord with the food lovers of Hyderabad because they offer a very good spread at a budget price. I had tried out some of the food items from their Bengali food festival, and still remember how good the preparations were. So this time, when I was invited to their Lucknowi Food Festival, I made it a point to attend the same.

Unlike a few years ago, we now have quite a few restaurants offering Awadhi food in Hyderabad – Jashn-E-Audh, Tansen and Point Pleasant to name a few. As a result, Hyderabadis are now much more familiar with the popular dishes of Awadhi cuisine. Qube Café has acknowledged that and they have gone beyond the usual dishes to present some of the less popular recipes from Lucknow.

Awadhi Kabab
From left clockwise: Shahi Murgh Kabab, Rajma Galawati, Mahi Tikka and Naushahi Jaan

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Quick Bytes: The Spice Island Flavors from Sri Lanka at ITC Kakatiya

Few years back when I had travelled to Sri Lanka as a tourist, I was exposed to the wonderful cuisine of the island country. The Sinhalese cuisine has influences from Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Malaysia, along with the use of local masala and abundant coconut. The Kothu Parathas with devilled seafood at the beach shacks, Idiappams with assorted sambols, red rice with coconut based fish curry, and egg hoppers made the trip extremely satisfying to the food lover in me. I was left wondering why recipes from the emerald island do not feature more in menus of restaurants here.

ITC Kakatiya Sri Lanka


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A Food Feast over the Bengali New Year Weekend

Like any other Bengali, I look forward to Nabobarsho – the Bengali New Year which is celebrated in mid-April.  From my childhood, this day was very special for me. I used to accompany my mother to the halkhata (new accounting books) ceremony at different shops in South Kolkata. While my mother would be busy exchanging pleasantries the owner, I would be expectantly peeking from side to side to size up the sweets and savouries being offered by the shop on that auspicious day.  Also, I used to yo enjoy the sumptuous family dinner with my extended family.

Murshidabadi Chicken Fry
Murshidabadi Chicken Fry at United Kitchen of India

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Fomokart brings native specialities from all over India to Bangalore

The culinary diversity of India can be attributed to the varying tastes in different regions. From north to south, east to west, India has a wealth of flavours which translate into the native specialities of every region be it pethas of Agra, sweets from West Bengal, namkeen from Indore or other native sweets and snacks.

Angoori Panchhi Petha
Angoori Panchhi Petha

Angoori Panchhi Petha
Angoori Panchhi Petha

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Quick Bytes: Radisson Blu Banjara Celebrates Baisakhi Di Masti

April is the month when several states of India celebrate the New Year of their local calendar. Apart from Nabobarsho in my home state Bengal, Punjab is another state which celebrates with élan Baisakhi, their New Year Day in April. On this occasion, Chill the fine dining restaurant at Radisson Blu Plaza Banjara is celebrating “Baisakhi Di Masti” a festival of Punjabi cuisine.



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Quick Bytes: Five Course Sunday Brunch at Jonathan’s Kitchen

Sunday Brunches have become a rage in Hyderabad – there is a tremendous demand and almost all well-known fine dine restaurants have their own versions of it. Jonathan’s Kitchen has brought in the concept of a Five Course Sunday Brunch, where you can have a limited food menu and unlimited drinks at a value-for-money all inclusive price of Rs 999.

Chicken Satay
Chicken Satay

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Quick Bytes: The Highway Food Festival at Taj Deccan

Food at the highway dhabas has been the lifeline of thousands of long distance trucks as well as people travelling on long road trips. The preparations change as we move from state to state and local ingredients and cooking styles take over. National Highway-1 (NH-1) is a part of the erstwhile Grand Trunk Road and links Delhi to the Indo-Pak border passing through the states of Punjab and Haryana. Some of the legendary places like the extremely popular Sukhdev dhaba at Murthal and Puran Singh Dhaba at Ambala are located on this route. Spice Junxion at Taj Deccan is hosting “High on Highway”, a festival showcasing the dhaba food along this stretch.

Taj Deccan Highway Festival


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Hadaya-El-Seyf or Gifts of Summer Festival at K&K, ITC Kakatiya

K&K is the exquisite fine dine brand of the ITC group, which showcases their deep research in Indian delicacies like kebabs and curries. The restaurant at Hyderabad has been a regular award winner for its finest signature dishes.

Kairi aur Murgh Ke Kebab
Kairi aur Murgh Ke Kebab

In this scorching Hyderabadi summer, the restaurant is organizing a food promotion named Hadaya-El-Seyf or Gifts of Summer. The festival curated by Sous Chef Amer Jamal nullifies the perception that Hyderabadi cuisine is all hot and spicy, and presents a range of dishes that can be enjoyed in even this extreme hot climate. The focus is on easily digestible food which has a cooling and relaxing effect on the body without sacrificing the taste.

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Quick Bytes: InAzia at Sheraton Hyderabad Celebrates Songkran, the Thai New Year

The first fortnight of April sees many of the Indian regions celebrating new year – Maharashtra, Andhra, Punjab and Bengal to name a few.  Thailand also celebrates Songkran, the Thai New Year day in the second week of April. Festivities include the water festival where people splash water on each other, and offer it to the Gods. The ritual represents purification of the body and soul and washing away the sins.

Steamed Sea Bass
Steamed Sea Bass in Thai Green Curry

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Novotel at Vizag: All About Stunning Seaview and Delicious Food

Vishakhapatnam has always been a favourite weekend destination of mine – I have been there, at least a dozen times during my two decades in Hyderabad. I always prefer a hotel near the seafront, and The Park at Beach Road had so far been a preferred choice. However, when I visited in March, this time, I decided to stay at The Novotel.

Novotel Vizag rooftop


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Quick Bytes: Hotel Subhani, the Biryani Paradise of Guntur

I was on a trip to Tenali to visit my friend, and he insisted on taking me to this biryani joint in Guntur about 30 kilometers off. He also advised that we go early in the day as the biryani here gets over very fast. So, without much ado, we drove down to Hotel Subhani by noon.

Hotel Subani Guntur
The Hotel with its Haleem Counter in front

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Biryanis in Bangalore: Donne, Thalassery and Kolkata Biryanis

Biryani, a dish of Persian origin, has come a long away from its actual source and has evolved with the local palate giving rise to the various forms and types. Growing up in Hyderabad, working in Delhi and having my roots in Kolkata has created a natural affinity in me towards the dish. The distinct flavours of Hyderabad, Awadhi and Kolkata biryani have always amazed me, so, after relocating to Bangalore I promptly started looking around for biryani joints in the garden city.

Chicken Biryani and Raita at Gundappa Donne Biryani
Chicken Biryani and Raita at Gundappa Donne Biryani 

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