The City of Pearls has always offered an assortment of desserts to choose from for the food connoisseurs. From the ubiquitous soft, gooey apricot dessert Khubaani ka Meetha to milky and the understated delight Elaneer Payasam, the latticed sweet Baadam Kii Jaali, Urusa Halwa made of beetroots and age-old bread pudding called Double Ka Meetha… traditional Hyderabadi sweets have always been around. But now, the luxury restaurants in Hyderabad are giving them a special touch by adding choicest of ingredients. Even the calorie-counting celebs, super busy top bureaucrats and politicians can’t finish their meals without opting for these sweet cravings. We present to you the vast array that luxury hotels and plush restaurants in Hyderabad have to offer.
Text: Saima Afreen
Khubaani Ka Meetha
No scrumptious dinner or lunch in Hyderabad is ever complete without a bowlful of cooked apricots dripping in syrup and topped with dollops of ice cream or thick layers of cream. Well, whenever a celebrities land in Taj Deccan, Banjara Hills, the demand that chefs get for satisfying their sweet cravings is of King of Desserts: Khubani Ka Meetha. Dried apricots are cooked on very slow heat in sugar syrup for three – four hours till they are tender and get a sheen like glass. And when the dish is served it’s kept plain and simple. Executive chef Rishi tells us, “Simplicity is the key. I just let the apricots soak in sugar syrup till the right amount of time. We top it with cream and serve.” No wonder then other hotels of Taj Group follow suit. But it’s the guests who have the gala time. The price for the sweet dish is ` 225 ++ taxes. Details: 040 66663939
Urusa Halwa is an old Nizami recipe. Since it is made with beetroot, the sweet is maroon in colour. This is a much favoured dish of Taj Falaknuma Palace. Chef Sajesh Nair prepares it with beetroot cubes, milk, ghee, sugar and cardamom powder. He says, “The name is derived from the Arabic word uroos which also means celebrations.” Urusa is an Arabic word which means bride. Perhaps because of the colour, the
halwa has been named so. It’s priced at `540 ++ taxes. Before serving, they adorn it with chandi ka varaq. Details: 040 66298585
Yes, it’s that bread delicacy dipped in thickened milk with a dash of saffron and crunchy nuts. Better known as Double Ka Meetha, it gets this name because the dough rises to double its size on being baked. Triangles of golden fried bread are left to cook in condensed milk with saffron and cardamom. That’s how it gets its deep golden yellow colour. The dish is decorated with chandi ka varaq (silver leaf) and served with a dash of pistachios and almonds. Executive chef Agnimitra Sharma of Hotel Park Hyatt, Banjara Hills, informs, “It’s mostly the expats who swear by this dish.” Priced at `350 ++ taxes. Details: 040 49491234
Baadam Kii Jaali
It is a dish with calligraphy. Yes, you heard it right. Inspired from the lattice in the windows of old palaces, this royal sweet has lacunae that are nothing but calligraphic works in Nastaliq script. The result? A delicious and beautiful pattern of sweetmeat. Made with almond powder and sugar Baadam Kii Jaali is sold by kilos. Earlier available only with age-old recipe knowing people in the crooked lanes of Old City now it is available on plush platter of Hotel ITC Kakatiya. Informs executive chef Paul, “I bake Baadam Kii Jaali in the oven for a subtle flavour. The final product turns golden yellow.” For a royal finish, he adds layers of chandi ka varaq (silver leaf) on top of the sweet. He doesn’t mention names, but asserts that his guests swear by this sweet. It is an exclusive item not available on the menu and is prepared on request. Details: 040 23400132
5 flavours, 5 years
anniversary dinner is a grand affair
The sumptuous spread will be a mix of five flavours – Indian, Asian, Continental, Middle East and of course, love, believes the Taj Falaknuma Palace hotel. It is turning five this November and as part of the celebrations, the hotel is organizing a lavish dinner at The Grills Coronation Hall on November 13. The dinner will comprise assortments of exclusively prepared gastronomic delights served to guests. Executive Chef Sajesh Nair said, “The entire menu is a blend of various flavours – spanning Indian, continental style, Middle East flavours and Asian style. The preparations are full on.”
On the menu will be platters of crunchy veggie and chicken salads. One can savour the mouth-watering platefuls choosing from Grilled Mushroom & Asparagus Salad, Caesar Salad and Smoked Salmon. The price range of the salads is from ` 800 to ` 1,200. There will be an array of pomfrets, lobsters and prawns as well. One can choose from Indian Ocean Red Snapper which is Moroccan Salsa prepared with lemon, parsley, saffron and exotic veggies served with pita bread. It costs ` 1200.
There will be Mackerel (` 900), chicken drumsticks, (` 950) New Zealand Lamb Rack
(` 1950) and Chicken Breast Teriyaki (` 950) which is a preparation in Japanese style. For the vegetarians there will be Sweet Potatoes Charmoula (` 750) and saffron infused brocolli (` 875). Desserts will be chef special. And, of course, the food will be served in special crockery along with exclusive cutlery. Details: 040 6629 8585.