Hyderabad is a confluence of several cultures; but in the erstwhile royal state, food was important and its flag was uniquely inspired by the shape of the “kulcha”, a leavened bread. Gastronomy is a continued passion, and it is said that the Hyderabadi eats to savour good food and exult in its taste, than to eat for the sake of surviving or for the sake of better health. Most Hyderabadi dishes are common to various communities across the city, though you may find a difference in nuance and taste in a dish cooked in a Muslim, Kayastha, Parsi or Telugu home in the city.

A rich and vast repertoire, a Hyderabadi kitchen includes a variety of dishes, cooked in a variety of styles and techniques. Kunwar Kulsum Begum, a member of the Salar Jung Royal family of Hyderabad, reminisces about peeping into the massive kitchen, where food was cooked in an almost magical way. There were holes dug into the floor where tandoors were set up, and vegetables and meat would be cooked slowly, sometimes over a period of days, to bring out the true flavours and succulence of the meat.

Tuck in at WelcomCafe Oceanic’s Hyderabadi Food Festival at WelcomHotel Grand Bay from June 23 to July 1, and experience culinary gems from the Land of Nawabs.