Being a foodie, I am a big fan of Biryani and when the Elan team invited me to try their newly curated Hyderabadi food, I was really excited. Hyderabadi cuisine also known as Deccani cuisine, is the native cooking style of the Hyderabadi Muslims. Hyderabadi cuisine had become a princely legacy of the Nizams of Hyderabad State, as it began to further develop further on from there. It is an amalgamation of Mughal, Turkish, and Arabic along with the influence of the native Telugu and Marathwada cuisines. So here are my top 5 vegetarian picks from the Hyderabadi Food Festival at Elan.
1. ANJEER KHUBANI KEBAB
This was my personal favorite dish in the whole menu. If you just have the appetite/time/money to spend on one dish, then this is the ONE. I was expecting it to be heavy because of anjeer (fig) but this kebab simply melted in my mouth. The pan-grilled kebab texture covers the soft center (such a beautiful play on textures) topped with the saffaron flavor. Absolutely loved it!
2. MIRCH BAINGAN KA SALAN
I am not a big “baingan” person, so if someone makes me have it and on top of it, is able to make me write about it, then you have to believe the dish was actually good. (:p) The curry was made of “achaari chilli” and coconut. The dish is medium spicy and complimented my breads really well. The peanuts gave the necessary heaviness to the dish and the sesame seeds the much necessary crunch.
3. GILAFI KULCHA
I have had Gilafi Kulcha at a lot of places but what I really liked about Elan’s Gilafi Kulcha was the addition of nuts (and I am nuts about nuts #punIntended :p). The nuts added the necessary crunchiness in the kulcha along with the methi seasoning and other veggies. The kulcha complimented the served veggies really well.
4. SUBZ DUM BIRYANI
Now this is a must! If you come to a Hyderabadi food festival, the chef very well knows this would be the maximum ordered dish on the menu. Alot of my “non-vegetarian” food friends might argue here, a vegetarian biryani is no better than a pulao. But Elan genuinely knew how to make me happy! The basic difference between and Pulao and Biryani is that pulao is a little dry whereas Biryani is a little juicy. The Biryani at Elan had all the right spices in the right amount, the rice was cooked well and the vegetables in the biryani complimented the saffron rice really well.
5. MANGO MINT SHIKANJI
This drink was such a wonderful compliment to the heavy flavors of hyderabadi cuisine. On the first sip it felt like a normal “aam panna” but after few more sips, I was able to enjoy the flavors more. Quiet enjoyed the fusion of aam panna with a mint shikanji. The roasted cumin in the drink really helped in cutting down the rich and heavy flavors.
Here are my top picks from the festival. Let me know whether my recommendations work for you in the comment section!