Steeped in history and rich in culture, Hyderabad, the capital city of Telangana, has much more to offer than its magnificent palaces and bustling bazaars. Beyond its architectural beauty, the city holds a wealth of culinary delights. While the world cherishes the non-vegetarian delights of Hyderabad, it’s the vegetarian cuisine that quietly steals the show, leaving a lasting impression on your palate. In this gastronomic exploration, we bring to light 20 Hyderabadi vegetarian dishes that are so divine that they must be tried before you die.
1. Hyderabadi Biryani
When it comes to Hyderabadi cuisine, Biryani is the first name that usually pops up. But the true connoisseur knows that the Vegetarian Hyderabadi Biryani is an underappreciated masterpiece. It is a colorful mélange of fragrant basmati rice, freshly ground spices, and a variety of vegetables. The cooking process, known as ‘Dum’, allows the flavors to infuse into the rice, giving the biryani its unique taste and aroma.
2. Bagara Baingan
Bagara Baingan, a traditional Hyderabadi dish, is a tantalizing blend of flavors. Eggplants are stuffed with a spice mixture containing peanuts, coconut, and sesame seeds, then simmered in a rich and tangy tamarind gravy. This deliciously spicy and slightly sour dish pairs perfectly with Hyderabadi Biryani or roti.
3. Mirchi Ka Salan
Mirchi Ka Salan is a staple side dish in Hyderabadi cuisine, often served with biryani. This exotic dish is made from large green chillies, peanuts, sesame seeds, and coconut, resulting in a delicacy that strikes a perfect balance between heat, tanginess, and a hint of sweetness.
4. Qabooli Biryani
Qabooli Biryani is a hidden gem in Hyderabadi cuisine. The biryani uses chana dal (split chickpeas) instead of meat. It is a delicate arrangement of aromatic spices, soaked basmati rice, and cooked chana dal, garnished with caramelized onions and boiled eggs. A perfect balance of protein and carbs, it is a hearty meal in itself.
5. Hyderabadi Khatti Dal
Khatti Dal, as the name suggests, is a tangy lentil soup made from either pigeon peas (toor dal) or split chickpeas (chana dal). The unique sourness comes from tamarind and tomatoes, which is beautifully complemented by a tempering of mustard seeds, dried red chillies, and curry leaves.
6. Tamatar Ka Cutt
This is a hearty, tangy tomato curry that’s prepared by slow-cooking ripe tomatoes with an assortment of spices and a generous amount of curry leaves. It pairs wonderfully with rice or flatbreads and is a refreshing change from the usual vegetable curries.
7. Palakura Pappu
A comforting dish, Palakura Pappu combines spinach with lentils and an assortment of spices. This healthy, protein-rich, and mildly spiced dish is often enjoyed with steamed rice or roti and makes for a great everyday meal.
8. Gongura Pickle
Gongura, also known as sorrel leaves, is used to make a tangy and spicy pickle that adds a zing to any meal. The combination of the sourness of the gongura leaves and the heat from the spices makes this pickle an irresistible accompaniment to a plate of hot rice and ghee.
9. Hyderabadi Veg Haleem
Vegetarian Haleem is a brilliant concoction made from wheat, lentils, and vegetables, cooked slowly until it reaches a creamy, stew-like consistency. Topped with caramelized onions, roasted cashews, and fresh coriander, it’s a mouthwatering dish that brings out the richness of Hyderabadi cuisine.
10. Shahi Tukda
Shahi Tukda is a royal dessert that you must try. Made from fried bread slices soaked in sweetened milk, flavored with cardamom and saffron, and garnished with dried fruits and nuts, this luxurious dessert is truly fit for a king.
11. Double Ka Meetha
Double Ka Meetha is Hyderabad’s take on bread pudding. Made by deep frying bread slices and then soaking them in sugar syrup, this dessert is rich, sweet, and satisfying. It is often served at weddings and festive occasions.
12. Khubani Ka Meetha
A traditional Hyderabadi dessert, Khubani Ka Meetha is made from dried apricots that have been soaked overnight and then cooked with sugar. The stewed apricots are served with a topping of almond slivers and fresh cream, making for a luscious, fruity dessert.
13. Makhani Kofta
Makhani Kofta is a vegetarian alternative to the famous meatball curry. This dish features deep-fried balls of paneer and mixed vegetables served in a creamy, buttery gravy. The koftas are soft, the sauce is rich, and together they create an unforgettable dish.
14. Paneer 65
Paneer 65, a vegetarian version of the popular Chicken 65, is a spicy and tangy snack where chunks of paneer are marinated, deep-fried, and then coated in a spicy yogurt-based sauce. The dish is flavorful and packs a punch, making it an excellent appetizer or party snack.
15. Dosakaya Pachadi
Dosakaya Pachadi, a traditional Andhra pickle made with cucumber, is tangy, spicy, and delicious. The yellow cucumber is finely chopped and cooked with tamarind, green chillies, mustard seeds, and other spices. This pickle pairs well with steamed rice and a dollop of ghee.
Dalcha is a sour and spicy lentil curry made with chana dal and tamarind. Traditionally cooked with mutton, the vegetarian version includes vegetables like bottle gourd and brinjal. Dalcha is usually served with Bagara rice, a Hyderabadi spiced rice dish.
17. Chole Bhature
Even though Chole Bhature has its roots in Punjabi cuisine, it is widely loved and enjoyed in Hyderabad. This classic combo of fluffy, deep-fried bread (Bhature) and spicy, tangy chickpea curry (Chole) is sure to satisfy your taste buds.
18. Pesarattu Dosa
Pesarattu, also known as green gram dosa, is a thin, crisp pancake made from a batter of soaked whole green gram, rice, and green chillies. Healthy and tasty, this dosa is often served with upma, a savory semolina dish, and a side of ginger or coconut chutney.
19. Kaddu Ki Kheer
Kaddu Ki Kheer or Bottle Gourd Pudding is a traditional dessert that’s creamy and full of flavor.
The bottle gourd is grated, cooked in milk, and sweetened with sugar. The addition of cardamom and garnishing of nuts gives this dessert a rich and indulgent feel.
20. Aloo Bonda
Aloo Bonda is a popular South Indian snack that’s widely loved in Hyderabad. The crispy, golden-brown exterior, made from gram flour batter, encases a deliciously spiced mashed potato filling. Serve it hot with coconut or tamarind chutney for an irresistible treat.
From tantalizing biryanis to tangy pickles, and from hearty curries to indulgent desserts, Hyderabad offers a delectable assortment of vegetarian dishes. Each dish showcases the depth and complexity of Hyderabadi flavors, promising a feast for the senses. So, when in Hyderabad, embrace the vegetarian food trail and explore these culinary delights. Your taste buds will thank you!