Disclaimer: Originally published in February 2018. It is being republished since it still remains an interesting topic till today.
“When in Hyderabad, eat biryani” – Ancient proverb
It goes without saying. In fact, it’s one of the first things people will ask you when you’re back from this foodie’s haven (the second is whether you brought back a parcel for them as well).
When the nizams invaded Hyderabad and brought along with them great cultural reforms in literature, architecture and arts, they did not abstain from propagating their love for the delectable biryani among the people as well.
What makes people swear by Hyderabadi biryani as the best in the country? The complex preparation. The meat is marinated overnight with spices and curd and then packed between layers of fragrant basmati rice and slow-cooked on coals. The rice and meat are thus cooked together from the very beginning, allowing the rice to soak up the juices of the meat. The whole process is tedious, but rewarding.
So where should you go to delve into this deliciousness? Google will tell you that Paradise Hotel is THE place to be but any local guide will warn you that the biryani there is way past its glory days. Rs. 984 for an overrated Special Biryani platter? No siree.
Here’s a list of (sadly) underrated places where you can satiate your Hyderabadi biryani fantasies without burning a hole in your wallet.
1. Mehfil Restaurant
Don’t you hate it when you split a biryani and end up getting the half that has next-to-no masala? Well, you won’t have to worry about that with Mehfil’s biryanis. They ensure that the masala and rice intermingle gorgeously to get a flavoursome mouthful each time. An extra perk is the generous layer of masala at the base of the biryani.
Location: Whisper Valley Road, Opposite JRC Convention Center, Shaikpet
Cost for two: Approx. Rs. 150-200
2. Pakwaan Grand
Some swear by Pakwaan as THE place to go for authentic Hyderabadi biryani. If you can handle the spice, order the chicken biryani with double masala. The smoky ears at the end will be worth it. If you’re a haleem lover, you’re in luck because this place supposedly serves the best mashhad haleem in town.
Location: Old Mumbai Hwy, Madhura Nagar Colony, Gachibowli
Cost for two: Approx. Rs. 220
3. Hotel Shadab
Whether you choose to do some Arab-style dining around a low-table or dine the conventional way, you’re guaranteed to enjoy the biryani here. This is one place your Hyderabadi friends will definitely recommend that you try. They are famous for their mutton biryani, so head over there to satisfy mutton cravings. Also, ask for more masala, always.
Location: Opposite Madina Building, High Court Road, Ghansi Bazaar
Cost for two: Approx. Rs. 270
4. Tawakkal Biryani Hotel
I’ll give you a fair warning that this is a local biryani joint. But what it lacks in ambience, it makes up for with its sumptuous food. The beef biryani here is a big hit (so, if eating it turns out to be the end of you, at least it was worth it).
Location: Narsingi, Hyderabad
Cost for two: Approx Rs. 100-200
5. Hotel Biryani Mahal
It’s one of the best biryani places in Secunderabad and an underdog in this city which is home to quite a few big names synonymous with Hyderabadi biryani. But choose to go here and you’ll get a more satisfying repast at a very reasonable rate.
Location: Opposite Narthaki Talkies, Lothkunta, Alwal, Secunderabad
Cost for two: Approx. Rs. 200
Well, what are you waiting for? Set out on a food trek and satisfy that biryani craving. Also, let us know in the comments section below if I’ve missed out on your favourite biryani joint. There’s always room for more biryani!
Image Credits: Google Images