A recent food festival brought the famous Hyderabadi haleem to town, and how!

I love Delhi because it offers me every kind of cuisine from across the country. And what better than a biryani freak like me getting invited to review a Hyderabadi food festival.

Organised recently by Hyatt Regency New Delhi, the food festival had two guest chefs from Hyderabad who made some really delicious and traditional Hyderabadi food the way it is supposed to be made. The festival had a cyclic menu covering almost all the famous local delicacies of the region. Chef Shaukat Ali and Chef Narender are both quite young and very enthusiastic about their food. Noticing their warmth and anxiety to serve me I totally left it in their hands.

They started my Hyderabadi feast with a paya ka shorba, a very light and healthy soup with a smooth texture and tiny, tender mutton chunks in it. Soup was very well seasoned and flavourful as well. It was followed by couple of starters. Zafrani murgh tikka was really tender and juicy. It had subtle flavours and very balanced seasoning. Road side Hyderabadi tawa machi was also delicious. It was spicy and tangy. The quality of the fish was excellent and just melted in my mouth. I liked the fish so much that I finished my serving within minutes and asked for a repeat.

Vegetarian gullar ke kabab was a delicacy which any vegetarian will enjoy. Kabab was flavourful and crunchy from outside and had a very distinct flavour. Saving space for the two delicacies which tempted me to come for the review I moved to my main course. And after two minutes of break Chef Shaukat and Narender came holding bowls filled with haleem.

What a mouth watering delicacy it was! Overnight pounding of the meat with lentils gave the haleem that authentic texture for which it is popular. I topped it with crispy golden fried onions, sprinkled it with lemon juice and finished it till the last spoon. Next came the biryani. Unfortunately that day biryani was not up to my expectations. It lacked in masala and was dry. Even the aroma of an authentic Hyderabadi dum biryani was missing. On the contrary I liked the steamed rice served with katti dal. Wonderful combination it was, tasty and delicious.

I signed off with the famous khubani ka meetha which was one of the best I have had in recent times. The rose water aroma with the sweetness of sheera in which khubani was cooked was just divine.

More In: Food | Metroplus | Features