Hyderabadi cuisine has evolved over time, with most recipes having been improved upon to suit the culinary preferences of the Indo-Pak subcontinent. The results are the formation of a unique cuisine that is differs from the original. Various Middle-Eastern recipes have been adapted in this way, such as Til Kay Chatuni from the Arabic tahini. Similarly, Persian Dried Lamb with Beans has been adapted as dalcha. Hyderabadi cuisine has a rich, flavorful heritage and is marked by the use of freshly made masalas.
The Hyderabadi Thali has a kaleidoscope of flavors which vary from region to region, with naan/ roti and rice used as staple sides. There are two types of thalis: vegetarian and non-vegetarian. The vegetarian version contains daal and cooked vegetable, while the non-vegetarian option contains one or two meat dishes. These are accompanied by raita (a yogurt-based side), salad and achaar (pickled vegetables) followed by a dessert.
Bhigaray Baingan is made using eggplant. These have to be hand-picked, medium-sized egg plants that you are sure will cook though completely. When done right, this dish tastes amazing with both roti or white rice.
- Eggplant – 1 kg
- Garlic Cloves – 10-12 (cut lengthwise)
- Salt – 1 teaspoon (adjust according to taste)
- Red Chili Powder – 1 teaspoon (adjust according to taste)
- Turmeric Powder – ¼ teaspoon
- Oil – ¼ cup
- Peanuts – 6 tablespoons
- Poppy Seeds – 4 tabelspoons
- Cumin Seeds – 4 tablespoons
- Sesame Seeds – 4 tablespoons
- Tamarind Pulp – 1½ cups
- Cut the eggplants (but not till the top) in a V shape. Then add half a teaspoon of salt and red pepper in a bowl and then soak the eggplants in it
- Wash the poppy and cumin seeds and dry them under the sun before you brown them (as they contain dirt). Take a tawa and slightly brown all the spices (except salt, turmeric and red chilies) and then let them cool. Grind them in the grinder to form the masala
- Put oil in a pan and cut garlic lengthwise in thin slices and fry a little. When they start becoming brown, add the whole eggplants and fry them a little
- Now add the red chili, salt and turmeric and keep frying
- Add the prepared masala little by little and ‘bhuno’ the eggplants
- When the eggplants are partially cooked, take out the pulp of the tamarind and strain it. Then add to the pan and place on a low flame while covered with a lid
- When the eggplants are cooked thoroughly, add two green chilies