HYDERABAD: The food scenario in Hyderabad is becoming more vibrant, with restaurants offering diverse cuisines, and dishes that involve different cooking techniques. One trend which is catching up in the city is the rise of modern or contemporary Indian food, with many restaurants offering experimental dishes, which have their origin in diverse regions of the country, often prepared or presented in a different way or using off-beat ingredients. Often, the end result is a twist on the familiar regional dish with totally different presentation, texture, or flavour. Table theatrics, like the broth being poured onto the food right in front of you, often add to the experience.
In the 80s and 90s, many Indian chefs visiting abroad had returned with new concepts and influences leading to more experimentation with local cuisines. Playing with flavours and form and using techniques like foaming, flambéing among others started yielding interesting results. Over time celebrity chefs like Gaggan Anand and Manish Mehrotra firmly established modern Indian dishes on the world food map.
Hyderabad, too, has its share of restaurants which have modern Indian food on its menu. Once Upon a Time at Green Park Hotel, Begumpet used to serve traditional Hyderabadi and Indian food.
The restaurant recently reincarnated with a complete focus on modern Indian food. As per Vignesh Ramachandran, the Culinary Director of the hotel, the dishes served have been carefully designed using the traditional ingredients, while the presentation has been made contemporary. An example is their Chicken Donut Makhani, where the butter chicken is presented as a cutlet shaped like a doughnut, along with a cappuccino made from the makhani gravy. The Paya Shorba has the lamb trotter extract stuffed inside a momo floating on the broth. The desserts are quite different too, with Samosa Chai having a baked samosa stuffed with kalakand and served with masala chai ice cream. Vignesh feels this has rekindled interest in some niche regional dishes.
Hay, the lounge bar at Begumpet has some interesting contemporary dishes too. Kulcha Butter Chicken Bomb has the chicken stuffed inside the kulcha served with the separate butter chicken gravy. Biryani has a new twist at Farzi Café’s Hyderabad outlet with their Galouti kabab served as pate with an airy form of sheermal . The new menu at this modern Indian bistro also has a Paneer Chettinad Taco. We will see many more such initiatives in the times to come.
Sabyasachi is a food enthusiast and blogs at www.foodaholix.in