HYDERABAD: The café and ‘hotel’ food in Hyderabad offers many interesting variations. From Irani chai to a variety of biscuits, dilkhush and dilpasand, and from biryani to chicken-65, the items they offer during different parts of the day are diverse and mouthwatering. The breakfast in some of these places deserve a special mention too, served from the wee hours of the morning and including many items prepared from lamb offals, which are widely enjoyed in the Hyderabadi cuisine. Though items like bheja fry, kheema and gurda bhaji are available in most of the places, each of the outlets has one or two special items that they are known for.
Hotel Nayaab at Ghansi Bazar is one of the go-to places for a typical Hyderabadi café breakfast. The place which starts serving from 4 am in the morning, is known for its lamb brain items like the bheja fry and bheja masala. Malai paya or lamb trotters prepared in a creamy masala is another delicacy here. They also have a special Paya Soup on their menu.
Shadab Hotel close by is known for its Paya Nihari, the slow-cooked broth of lamb trotters. Their other variations are zabaan (tongue) and sometimes jabda (jaw) in the same dish. Alpha Hotel just opposite Secunderabad Railway Station is often the favoured destination of hungry commuters reaching the city after an overnight train journey. Their famed kheema roti breakfast is perhaps the best in the city. The kheema cooked in a little extra oil and garnished with coriander leaves with a slice of carrot and half of a boiled egg is the perfect recipe to start the day. Another dish I like here is kaleji fry, a spicy preparation of lamb liver.
For Gurda Bhaji or a dish with lamb kidneys and green leafy vegetables, my favourite place is Paradise in Secunderabad. You may have to wait a while to get a place in their ground floor section where they serve breakfast, but the food justifies the wait. They also have a good kheema preparation.
Shah Ghouse which has three branches in different parts of the city serves khichdi kheema khatta as one of their signature breakfast items. This is a rice and daal preparation served with a tangy tamarind chutney often eaten with a side of minced meat.
Their char koni naans with paya, and zaban nihari are also worth trying. The preparations here are spicier than other breakfast places, with a strong aftertaste of chillies. Another place famous for their khichdi kheema khatta breakfast is Prince Hotel in Mehdipatnam.
Still, there are a couple of fabulous Hyderabadi breakfast dishes are hard to find these days in the commercial space. Khagina, a once popular spicy scrambled egg dish is one of them.Gurda Kapura which uses lamb kidneys with testicles also features on this list. Sabyasachi is a food enthusiast and blogs at www.foodaholix.in