Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Hyderabad special meal at The Park and a recipe of Safaid Korma and Akhrot ke kulchey...

Hyderabad food brings a smile on my face as I love spicy food in general. Biryani and Haleem comes to my mind immediately and then there is a complete blank. Ah yes, Double ka meetha and Khubani ka meetha I love to indulge into occasionally. We decided to go for a Hyderabadi dinner one evening last week and were expecting a spicy affair. I was surprised to know there is so much more to Hyderabad cuisine when Chef Tarun Verma introduced the menu at Aish at the Fire restaurant in The Park.

Our meal started with amuse bouche, a masala papad followed by a dahi ka golgappa served rather dramatically in a miniature tagine. Loved this along with the appalams.

Among the starters I liked Magaz ka pakoda /lamb brain fritters (575), pattey ki machhi, a steamed fish similar to Patrani machhi (825) and a shikampuri kabab, lamb kabab with a hung curd center (695) though I could not find any yogurt filling.. Pathar ka gosht (695)was nicely smoky and soft. I liked it as it was different from grilled kababs and still smoky.

Among the vegetarian starters you might like to taste the khajoor paneer ke dhol (425), a rolled up slice of paneer with a stuffing of dates and spices, I found it a bit too sweet. Some more spice and herbs would have balanced the flavors well as it was nicely soft and well rolled. Other vegetarian starters were not at all good.

Few mains were liked too. I found akhrot ke kulchey (145) really good. Walnuts are my favorite nuts and this naan was just too good for my palate. A thin white gravy of safaid korma (725) was quite a surprising element. Very delicate flavors and not at all spicy, contrary to what I think of hyderabad food, this korma was really nice though the gravy could have been thicker. I loved the akhrot ke kulchey with safed korma. Tried these at home, recipe in the end of this post..

Haleem (745)was good, a nice pasty Haleem that is made with large pieces of meat and cooked for hours so the fibers break. Nice flavors the way I like in Haleem. Apart from that Palakura pappu (425) was a nice yellow daal with few bits of greens but nothing great. Vegetarian dishes were an absolute disappointment.

Desserts were out rightly disappointing. Badam ka halwa (425) was very mediocre.  Chocolate double ka meetha (425) was a disaster as a real thick slice of bread with chocolate was not even soaked in syrup properly. Khubani ka meetha was a joke as dried apricots topped with whipped cream do not make khubani ka meetha. I was not expecting this from a five star hotel. The presentation was good though.

I would suggest you to go if you like Safaid korma and akhrot ka naan, haleem and some non vegetarian starters but avoid any desserts from the hyderabadi menu. The gulkand rasmalai (425) they served was a lot better and refreshing with slivers of dehydrated paan and gulkand.

The good thing is that I am bringing the recipe of Safaid korma by Chef Tarun Verma. Here it is for you to try and let me know if you like it...

mutton curry cut 1 kilo
cinnamon stick 5 gm
almonds boiled, peeled and blended 200 gm
ginger garlic paste 40 gm
full cream milk 2 liter
cinnamon powder 5 gm
green cardamom powder 5 gm
salt to taste
ghee 50 gm

I quartered the recipe as it was being cooked for just the two of us..


Wash mutton pieces and put to boil with ginger garlic paste and cinnamon sticks. Keep skimming the surface or change the boiling water twice. This helps in keeping the color of the gravy white and flavor really delicate.

Simmer the mutton pieces till done. Took an hour for me.

Reduce the milk to half and add the mutton pieces with the stock to it.

Add the cardamom and cinnamon powders. Boil till you get the right consistency of the gravy.

Finish with cinnamon powder and ghee and serve hot with any kulcha or naan you fancy.

I made whole wheat Akhrot ke kulchey with this. Knead whole flour wheat flour with a pinch of soda bi carb, pinch of salt (for every half cup of flour) and a tbsp of chopped Walnuts and knead using warm milk. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes, then roll out and bake Kulche on a griddle or in an oven.

See how to bake Delhi street style kulche here..

For these kulchey I just rolled up small balls of this dough to make oblong breads and slapped it on to a hot griddle. Let it cook one side and then grilled the kulcha on open flame on the other side. It becomes perfectly soft inside and a bit crisp and firm on the surface. With the nutty crunch of Walnuts, these Kulchey are yummy with just anything you wish.

Who would have thought I would share a delicately flavored (and not hot and spicy) recipe from Hyderabad? Having said that, I am not sure if this recipe is authentic as a few such curries are cooked in Banaras as well. So have good food no matter where it belongs to.



  1. sangeeeta.,
    What a wonderful review!!!., R u writing in newspapers too? this topic is interesting., I should mention about what i have understood about their food here in hydeabad., Hyderabad belongs to the telangana region and is predominantly Non-veg. Inspite of it being a cosmopolitan city which has people from other parts of andhra pradesh., the food style of people is mostly alike., Being a vegetarian, iam exposed to only the vegetarian cuisine. Rice is the staple food like most south indians., and anything that is served on the plate is mixed with rice and eaten., A complete veg meal consists of a pappu(dal with a veg or green)., pulusu, a tangy sweetish gravy., pachadi( basically a chutney where the vegetable or a pulse, is roasted throughly( ioften wonder what benefit would they derive by cooking the vegetable for such along time) along with green chillies and ground with tamrind salt and few other additions too., and the koora, the vegetable part., here too the veg is deepfried(bhindi, tendli, potato, banana and few others), sometimes there is a gravy type vegetable too. But again everything is mixed with rice including the deep fried items., i feel that total injustice is being done to the vegetables., Pl also visit a typical andhra restaurant, and give ur review., you will be th eperfect person to do so

    1. Thanks Nirupama for such a wonderful input. I would definitely like to explore more of andhra food and especially the vegetarian food as that is what I like most. But the problem is, greens and vegetables are screwed up in most eateries I have seen doing Indian food. I agree the vegetables are abused much in the way they cook.

    2. a friend of mine,was preparing curries(thats what they call for any type of accompanimernts they serve here).,i peeped into her kitchen., Bhindi was deep fried in batches.,again sauteed with onions and fried ground nuts(double cooking)., cabbage was cooked, drained(loads of vitamins for the kitchen sink) and made into a gravy., ridgegourd was sauteed till the last drop of the water content got evaporated along with half a dozen green chillies, littlepudina and was ground to make a pachadi., For around a dozen people., half ., half kilo of each was made along with pappu and other items., and two rice cookers full of rice., sangeeta., it is their way of eating., And all those who came were comparatively thinner than me., As a food expert., what is ur opinion on this., does the inclusion of too much of chillies., help them in reducing weight. U have a nice topic to think over and for another write up., in which u can beautifully put how vegetables are mis used!

    3. I'll get a heart attack if I see someone cooking vegetables like this Nirupama and may be I'll interrupt the process and start cooking myself.
      Weight gain and weight loss is a very complex process Nirupama, and calories in food has a small role in it, the kind of calories, the kind of activity level and hormone profile play a combined role..so I wont be able to comment whether this kind of diet is indicative of something. And yes, I am certainly thinking of doing a post of how to cook vegetables to preserve nutrients.

    4. just having a look at one or two kitchens, and generalising andhra food is not doing justice to andhra food. most of the families do not eat deep fried foods every single day. pls don't comment without knowing thoroughly about andhra food. it is misconception that all andhrite's eat like that( like generalising north indian food means only paneer and aloo)
      in delhi u can andhra bhavan for andhra meal.

    5. Yes I agree Anonymous. Wish you posted with your name too.
      I agree all of us don't cook the unhealthy way...but there are people who do it unknowingly.

  2. ha ha., they just cant tolerate my stir fries., with a few tsp of oil , little spice and mostly steamed cooking., one blogger harichandana., of the indian cuisine., does justice by making them somparitively healthier., hers is a good blog for me to refer to andhra cooking.,

  3. I think to get taste of authentic andhra food you should visit any small andhra restaurant.The non-veg dishes you mentioned are the influence of Nizam in Andhra and mostly are cooked in the houses who are hard core non-vegetarians.And to taste them you should come down South and eat at any small restaurant in old city in and around Charminar. Those places don't offer good ambience but who cares when the food is awesome.

    I would die to eat kurbani ka meetha anytime. If it is served with ice cream than nothing like it...

    The white ghosh recipe you gave i never tried it cause the use of almonds,i don't like to use dry fruits in curries but occasional i do use cashew.

  4. The above comment is mine Sangeetha,i don't know how it got posted without my name.This is saritha of varunavisworld and mykitchenaroma.

    1. Oh great Saritha. Never mind about the unknown commenting..may be blogger comment form was behaving weird. I totally intend to visit small eateries whenever I go to Hyderabad.
      I have posted a great recipe of Khubani ka meetha in the past, please check out if you want to try.

  5. Dear anonymous., There was no allegation in my comments., all that i meant was the way vegetables are cooked , in my closer friends circles and in the marriages or functions i ve so far attended., also as u ve mentioned., cooking differs from region to region and even from families to families., but generally, it is on the spicier side., and of course the quantity consumed by way of mixing with rice is comparatively lesser than the amount of veg., consumed as a side dish in any other part., I am also trying to understand the cuisine., enjoying it v ery much., and i would also tell here that since my opportunity to have andhra food is restricted to only funtions and gettogethers. ive put forth my experience in the comments. no offense pl. my previous house owner used to add salt and haldi in the chopped veggies, she is abt to cook and squeeze the water out ( snakeguard, tendli., cabbage, and beans) before cooking them., I ve also noted this kind of approach in some of the old tamil cookbooks,Let us explore., and get informed., what i ve shared is only my experience and not a generalized statement.,sangeeta, will be a good judge.

    1. ha ha Nirupama..I am no judge as even I am exploring different cuisines slowly. And regarding abusing vegetables, it is done in all communities and regions more or less equally..only few informed people make good use of nutrition the veggies provide.

  6. This looks awesome and delicious..

  7. I loved reading the comments. Great post and yum food!