The taste that delighted the nawabs is here to woo the food lovers at Hotel Fortune Pandiyan

City folks appear to have voted for nawabi food prompting the staff at Hotel Fortune Pandiyan to once again spread the culinary delights that evolved in the kitchen of the Nizams.

The Hyderabadi food festival is back in less than a year, packaged this time round as “Culinary Jewels of Nizam’s”.

Says S.Ravisundar, F&B Manager, “People here seem to be liking the amalgam of spices, herbs and condiments that characterises the food with 400 years of history.”

Between spoons full of palak-ke-shorba, I ask him why vegetarian dishes outnumber the non-veg items in the buffet. He cites two reasons. Given the same rate fixed for both veg and non-veg platter, if there are few vegetarian dishes the guests feel cheated whereas only three to four non-veg preparations satisfy a customer because of the rich preparation. Also, the team led by Chef Keshav has tried to put together many hidden, enriched and forgotten flavours from the green basket.

It’s time to focus on the plate once I am done with the intriguing bright green and flavoursome creamy soup. The vegetarian in you is kindled as 10 dishes compete with three non-vegetarian items on all days till the festival lasts. Be assured, there is no such imbalance in taste that bears the inimitable aristocratic stamp.

Depending on your like and hunger you can skip or have the palak makkai kebab or murgh kandhari tikka for starters.

The quintessential delicacies like the bhagaare baingan, amchuri bhindi, Hyderabadi mutter-paneer, Kaju mutter makhana, khatta-meetha dal or safroni kofta, have all been perfected. The distinct blend of rich taste and mouth-watering aroma makes you feel like a nawab and tempts you to indulge in the royal delicacies.

A Hyderabadi meal is incomplete without the fragrant and rich dum biryani. The subzi shahi biryani is made irresistible with a pinch of saffron. Enjoy it with mirchi ka salan (the green chilli gravy) in between occasional sips of pudhina (mint) ka paani or aam panna.

For the meat lovers, the gosht dumpukt biryani is a winner with its soft and juicy mutton pieces. The shahzadi murgh comes to your table as a smoking hot meat grilled to perfection. It tastes best with garlic chutney.

The assortment of traditional breads like super soft naan, paranthas and sheermal go well with all the side dishes. The main course for non vegetarians is an equally delightful culinary journey with the signature dish, haleem, available on all days besides kheema biryani or yakhni pulao and dahi waali machchi or Hyderabadi dum ki murgh.

Chef Keshav recommends mooli (raddish) paranthas as the best combo for haleem. The story goes that the Nizam of Hyderabad was once on rounds when he was taken in by the aroma emanating from one of the streets. On following it, he found it was coming from broth made with lamb, wheat and spices and cooked on low fire by labourers. It is cooked to a porridge-like consistency over many hours till the meat turns succulently soft and the aroma of potli masala, meetha attar and sandal wood powder reaches the nose.

For rounding off your perfect meal, there is a range of traditional desserts such as Khubani ka Meetha (dried apricots soaked in sugar syrup), Double ka Meetha or the shahi tukra, moong halwa and mango phirni

To add to the ambience, the restaurant is dressed up to give an authentic and engaging experience. “Hyderabadi cuisine is not just food, it is a sublime art,” says Ravisundar.

The team is trying its best to ensure that the flavours of genuine dishes tantalize your palette and tempt you into submission. Result? Its one real treat for the foodies at Rs.525 plus Tax per adult and Rs.300 plus Tax per child below 10 years. On till July 7 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays and for lunch (12.30 p.m. to 3.30 p.m.) and dinner on weekends. For reservations contact: 82201 36666.