Hyderabadi biryani is a meal Indians favor so much they’ll happily consume it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner! This revered dish is prepared “dum style,” which means marinated raw meat (usually beef, chicken, goat, or lamb) and partially cooked basmati rice are sealed in a handi (clay pot) and cooked over a slow fire. This process ensures moist and tender meat and flavorful rice. What makes Hyderabadi biryani so popular is its rich marinade of dahi (Indian yogurt), onions, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, bay leaves, nutmeg, black cumin, lemon, and saffron. If you want to eat Hyderabadi biryani like a local, order it with red meat!
Originating from the banks of the Ganges River, jaljeera is a thirst-quenching beverage Indians consume to help combat the hot and dry climate of the region. When translated to English, “jal” means water and “jeera” means cumin. The translation is quite fitting as jaljeera is essentially water mixed with cumin, ginger, black pepper, mint, black salt, chili, hot pepper power, and fruit powder (usually mango). Indians traditionally pair a glass of jaljeera with an appetizer before a meal to wake up their taste buds or drink it between meals during the day.
Standing at the heart of Hyderabad’s main bazaar (Middle Eastern marketplace) you’ll find The Charminar – a monument dating back to 1591 that is globally recognized as the city’s principal landmark. The Charminar is a gargantuan 184-foot tall structure with four arches facing north, south, east, and west, adorned with minarets on top. The lower two floors are open to the public: the first offers a view of Hyderabad’s bustling streets below; the second is home to Hyderabad’s oldest mosque. Visit The Charminar to learn how Mohammed Quli Qutb Shah founded Hyderabad in the 16th century and commemorated the city by building this symbolic monument.