A Short Weekend Break at Novotel Hitech City Hyderabad

Both I and my wife are used to travelling extensively. Last year, we had been going out almost once every month to different corners of the country. However, certain exigencies at home are temporarily holding us back in Hyderabad for the last few months, leading to a bit of frustration especially in me. So, we decided to explore the resorts of Hyderabad for a quick break instead. My Accor Plus membership comes in handy at these times, with the Weekend Getaway feature allowing us to park ourselves at any Accor hotel in the city for a day. This time, our stop was the Novotel Hyderabad International Convention Centre, close to Hitech City, but ensconced in a lot of greenery inside the Hitex Exhibition Campus.


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Patthar Ka Gosht: The Hyderabadi Meat delicacy from the Nizami Era

The Hyderabadi cuisine has many popular dishes whose preparation methods are markedly different from those in other regions. Apart from haleem which comes to mind first, another dish in this category is Patthar ka Gosht, where a heated stone is used to cook pieces of boneless marinated meat. A favourite from the days of Nizam Asaf Jahi VI, this dish is still much sought after by food lovers on any visit to the city.


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Ramzan Food Map around Charminar

For a food lover, a visit to the old city is a must during the month of Ramzan especially in the evenings after the Iftar prayers. A huge number of makeshift stalls add to the permanent shops in the bustling Charminar area, where all kinds of Iftari food items are sold apart from clothes and ornaments. Quite a few Ramzan food trails are organized in this area by food experts, but with a little bit of knowledge and information, even the common food lovers can plan their own food walks with their friends and family.  Most of the food walks touch almost the same places will very little variation.


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Food Lovers Look Forward to the Haleem Season during Ramzan

Ramzan is the month of prayers and fasting for the devout Muslims, but the food lovers in the city look forward to a special delicacy which is best relished during this period. Haleem, the wheat and pounded meat preparation rich in ghee as well as select spices and lentils are typically consumed in the evening, breaking the day-long fast after Iftar prayers.  A complete food, it helps to gain strength and energy after a long period of fasting. The dish has its origin in Central Asia. In Ain-I-Akbari, Abul Fazal mentions about the dish being served in Emperor Akbar’s court. Haleem came to Hyderabad with the Yemeni soldiers in the Nizam’s army and has over the years become one of the most popular dishes from the Hyderabadi cuisine.

Cafe 555

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Gourmet Tea from Karma Kettle

Readers of my blog know that I have a deep connect with Kolkata, the city of my birth, where I had spent the first seventeen years of my life. I still visit the city quite a few times every year, and through firsthand experience as well as via food lovers there, maintain my strong interest in the food and beverages scene out there.


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Random Food Rants from Darjeeling

Regular readers of my blog are aware of my recent trip to Sandakphu (Read about it here). The trip was tough but immensely enjoyable. At the end of the hectic trip, we decided to relax for a few days, and which can be a better place for that than Darjeeling, the Queen of the Hills. It is just 50 kms away and a place which has lots of fond memories for me.


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The Road To Sandakphu

Summer was about to set in at Hyderabad, and we wanted to run away to somewhere cooler for a few days. There were many places on our bucket list, but topmost was the Silk Route belt of Sikkim with Zuluk and Gnathang Valley. However, as we started talking to the people of the region, we were told by a friend that there was a chance that the roads to Silk Route may not be open in mid-March. Feeling that we were getting disheartened he went on to suggest Sandakhphu at 12000 feet, primarily a trekking destination about 60 km from Darjeeling. The place is known for the complete view of the Sleeping Buddha mountain range consisting of four of the five highest mountain peaks of the world including Kanchenjunga and Everest. We had heard of the terrible roads to Sandakphu but were assured that a large part of the road is now in concrete due to an initiative of the Bengal government, and journey by road is no longer that difficult.


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The Culinary flavours of Ugadi

Like few other states of southern and western India, the first day of the month of Chaitra brings the New Year in Telangana.  The day is celebrated as the Ugadi festival. The word Ugadi is derived from yuga (era) and aadi (beginning) in Sanskrit, which loosely translates as the beginning of a new period.  Apart from visiting temples to seek divine blessings, giving gifts and decorating the entrances of the houses with floral designs or rangoli and fresh mango leaves on this auspicious day, the locals also indulge into some special food specifically prepared for the occasion.


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Mandi, the Yemeni Delicacy from Barkas

The Barkas area in the old city is home to many Hyderabadis whose forefathers were from Arab countries. The name of the place originated from the word “barracks”, as the area served as the barracks for Nizam’s army. The then army had a large number of Arabs, especially Hadhramis from Yemen. Thus, it is no surprise that the cuisine of the area is replete with localized versions of Yemeni food.


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The Great Outdoors: An Unforgettable Outstation Getaway with Marriott Hyderabad

On a Saturday afternoon in Hyderabad, a motley group assembled around noon at Okra, the buffet restaurant of Marriott Hyderabad. Each of them was carrying a small bag containing an overnight change of clothes.  The team consisting of journalists, food and travel bloggers and Instagram influencers had all been invited to experience “The Great Outdoors with Marriott Hyderabad”.


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Anokhi Kheer, The Unique Hyderabadi Dessert

The cuisine of the Nizami Sultanate had many variations with curious ingredients as well as culinary techniques.  In some dishes, it was extremely difficult to guess the ingredients even after tasting it. Anokhi Kheer, an old Hyderabadi dessert is one such recipe.


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Innovative Indian Cuisine at Once Upon a Time, Green Park Hotel

Once Upon a Time, the restaurant at Green Park Hotel has quite a loyal fan following in Hyderabad. The restaurant has been serving Hyderabad for more than two decades with signature offerings such as Midnight Biryani and Sunday vegetarian breakfast. After being closed for renovation for a few months, the restaurant is back in a new avatar, serving exclusively Indian cuisine with more than a contemporary touch.

Khatta Jhinga

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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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