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Go Hyderabadi!

Tuck into gastronomic delights from Hyderabad

Pic. S. Siva Saravanan

THINK HYDERABAD and the first thing that you recall is food. Be it the fragrant haleem, the layered biryani or the delectable double ka meetha, every little dish has the Hyderabadi's love for food written all over it.

Partake of some of them at the ongoing Hyderabadi food festival at The Pavilion, the 24-hour coffee shop at The Residency. Chefs Mohammad Jasimuddin and Mohammad Rafiullah (hailing from Jharkhand but re-born as cooks in Hyderabad) have put together an exhaustive menu, choosing the best of vegetarian and non-vegetarian cuisine.

Start off your meal with a welcome drink — choose from roohafza or jal jeera, before moving on to the shorbas. Then, it is time to tuck into crunchy salads. But, keep your portions moderate. The main course is elaborate and a full stomach before that is sure to be a dampener.

On offer are Banjara subzi, Aloo ki tiyan, fried potato wedges tossed in Kashmiri chilli powder and fried onions, Sala-ha dhingri, mushrooms cooked in a gravy of celery, parsley, spinach, coriander and mint and Kofta chola, a melt-in-the mouth variant of the regular kofta. In the non-veg section, choose from Gosht dum biryani, Murgha mahabari biryani, Gosht zaika-e-zafran, Murgh shahi labrez, Sabz bakra, Dewani makhni pulav and Kacchi gosht ki biryani. There is also a spot counter where they serve piping hot tikkas and kebabs.

New dishes have been introduced for this festival. But, the spice content has been toned down in some to suit the local palate. Of course, old favourites will return to the festival on demand.

In the rice section, try the subz biryani, a heady combo of long-grained basmati, fresh vegetables and slivers of fried onion. The non-vegetarian mutton pulav scored over its other counterparts in the flavour department.

For desserts, choose from the tried and tested phirni and khubani ka meeta served with a dollop of fresh cream or the routine chandrakala. Those with an absolute dislike for Indian sweets can head to the Western dessert counter laden with apple pie, almond caramel custard and strawberry gateaux.

Priced at Rs. 300 for adults and Rs. 175 for children, the fest is open for dinner (lunch and dinner on Sundays) till March 6. Call 2201234 for details.

SUBHA J RAO

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