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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