Breakfast in Hyderabad is quite well known. And god knows why, most of us are under the notion that Hyderabadis eat Biryani thrice a day, even for breakfast. It might happen that I’ve met the wrong persons earlier, but I was conveyed the same notion. So this time during my solo trip, I tried to visit the well known breakfast places in Hyderabad and I was astonished of the sheer variety.
Please don’t get me wrong, but Hyderabadis have got a good appetite. I am saying this with a positive note. Every restaurant serves a huge portion of food and guests happily finish them I’m sure they are tasty but am also sure of the capacity. And the gentleman who was taking me around Hyderabad apart from Sabyasachi da, Taher Syed, literally laughed the entire 4 days of my moderate eating … But first things first, let me start with a non-veg breakfast.
On my second day at Hyderabad, I was taken to Nayaab restaurant by Sabyasachi da and for the first time, I met Taher. And though I a not really known to be friendly, we felt at ease. Both of them had a love for street food or rather good food. And that’s where the bonding was developed. Coming to Nayaab, the place operates till late night and is again operational from early morning.
We reached at around 8 and it was on full swing. It’s a decent place and one of those places, where swanky interiors are substituted with good food. Nahari soup was ready at the entrance with a huge handi of paya (trotters) beside it and guests are welcomed inside with that aroma- lovely entrance …
My friends knew what to order and it was simple. “Jo jo bana hai, ek ek plate leke aao” and I knew I was in good company. Being the health-conscious that we are, we didn’t have many carbs. So, it was Gurda Fry, Keema, Magaz and Malai Paya. And of course, some Roti to go with it. Mutton is the primary red meat in Hyderabad. Let me be honest, Malai Paya was the best. It had a rich gravy with malai on top. The mutton trotters were literally chewable and simply lovely. – I told myself. The gurda Fry is cooked with some saag in Hyderabad and this was no exception. It was slightly bitter but helped in balancing the strange aroma of Gurda (kidney).
The kesar tea, on the other hand, was heavy and creamy. Now, if you get milky Irani tea with a few strands of saffron, who wouldn’t like it? But the Kesar Tea I got in Mumbai, is vastly different from this version. Around the 19th century, a good number of Persian immigrants got settled in Hyderabad and many Irani (or rather Deccan) cafes were established. Like the coffee here, they mixed milk in their tea and served it sweet, unlike the Irani counterpart. Might be, and as long as the end product is tasty, who am I to comment. The total bill came around 450/- with all the item.
If mutton paya is one aspect of breakfast in Hyderabad, the other one is Dosa and Fried idli. And Govind Dosas is one of the most popular roadside Bandi in the old city. Now, the roadside dosa stalls are called Bandi in Hyderabad. In Telugu, Bandi means vehicle. So, as these stalls are mini-food trucks, hence the name. If you know it, please share. But this place is a gem. Starting from 530 Am till 11 Am, it churns out the excellent varieties of Dosa and Idli for locals. The setup is humble and pricing, moderate. We ordered cheese Butter Dosa and Fried Idli.
First things first. If you have a faint heart and are calory conscious, please stay away from this place. This gentleman uses an insane amount of butter for one regular-sized Dosa. The inside is first doused with a layer of thin upma and fried with that yellow butter. The end result is super crispy Dosa with soggy filling (keeps it hot for a long long time). This is sheer beauty. They do not have any spoons and using your fingers is the only option. Go for it, even if it’s the last thing you have for Hyderabad breakfast. The Fried idli was idli fried with red chutney and onion-green chilly chopped. And it really can’t go wrong. Same was the case here. A basic chutney was served along with, which I personally didn’t touch.
“If you’ve tasted a roadside Dosa, you must taste dosa in a proper restaurant for Hyderabadi breakfast” I was told. And Chutney’s is a cult joint for upmarket vegetarian food in Hyderabad. Chutneys is one of those fine-dining vegetarian restaurants in Hyderabad and are quite known for its idlis. Now I love idlis myself and hence one fine morning, I was there.
I was instructed on what to order and once I got my seat, in 3 minutes, ordering was done. Babai Idli and Guntur idli (one plate each consisting of 2 pcs each). But one Dosa was needed and I shameless to say that I love a heavy breakfast.
So, I had Babai Idli for the first time in my life. This variety is said to have originated from a shop named Babai Idli shop in Vijayawada. If super soft idli is (almost literally) dipped in ghee and is topped with white butter, it’s this piece of love. Guntur idli, on the other hand, was the spicy variant. Topped with Guntur masala and red spicy masala, this is definitely not for the weak-hearted.
A bowl of ghee was already kept on the table and it seemed, they’re ready to refill it once finished. The chutney assortment was kinda interesting. While the coconut chutney, so unlike to its Kolkata counterpart, was sweet, the Tomato sweet corn chutney was supremely balanced. But showstopper for me was the Ginger chutney and I almost finished half of the bowl. Dosa was average and really nothing special. Breakfast for two will cost around 500/- at this place.
Shah Ghouse is known for its biryani and that’s something everybody knows. But what is hidden is that it’s also known for its Khichri keema khatta and paya soup. I was told to report by 7 AM at their Tollichowki outlet by Taher and I was on time. Now this place is so much like our homely Shiraz or Sabir Hotel in Kolkata. The same crowd was enjoying the same orchestrated madness. You’ll have to shout for a reorder and it’s super fast service. Now, if Malai Paya is one aspect of Hyderabadi breakfast, Khichri Keema is another wing. And though it was ordered, can some Paya Soup be left behind?
Khichri is cooked with Chana Dal here and is enjoyed with a dry keema. This version of keema was different from the Nayaab and both were good. Khichri is supposed to be the main dish and Keema served (as the combo) was slightly small in quantity. But separate portions can anytime be ordered. The khatta was more of a salan and honestly, neither I liked it, nor had it much.
The paya soup, on the other hand, was great. A large bowl full of thin watery yet flavorsome gravy was served and Taher asked for Sheermal to go with it. The trick is to out the Trotters inside it first and break the bread and dip it inside too. We should let it get soaked and get the taste in. The sweetish taste of Sheermal complemented the paya and it was a great combo. Gurda Fry was again finished with Saag.
I am sure of the fact that there are many more great breakfast joints in Hyderabad. Honestly, I can’t eat that much food and I’ve missed many hidden gems due to the shortage of time.
What are your favorite breakfast spots in Hyderabad? Do let me know in the comments section.
Bon Appetit !!!
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