Breakfast Street Food Walk For Foodies In Old Hyderabad
Today morning I went to Charminar in old Hyderabad as a foodie with other 100+ Foodies in Hyderabad for trying various street foods of Hyderabad. Foodies in Hyderabad are one of the largest online communities of Foodies in Hyderabad and probably anywhere else. We discuss, debate, and celebrate only 3 things and that is Food, food and some more food.
We had a food walkathon in the old city starting from the internationally world-famous Shadab Hotel and walking to try all the breakfast dishes served in the bylanes of Old Hyderabad. The walkathon was organized by Avinash D Gulab, the Magaz, peta, and zuban behind the Foodies in Hyderabad. (For those who do not understand Hindi: Magaz= brain, peta: Stomach, Zuban: tongue, all Hyderabadi foodie lingo)
For a change, the late sleeping and even later rising Hyderabadis reached in time for AVI’s The Great Hyderabadi Breakfast Walkathon, organized in association with Times City and AP Tourism Department.
We parked at the Nizamia General Hospital, opposite the Mecca Masjid and walked till Shadab Hotel. Our first stop was the internationally world-famous Govind Dosa Bandi. Now Govind Bhai is a busy man, and he gets busier if the Foodies in Hyderabad surround him with their demands or dosas, idlis, wadas, fried idlis, special chutney etc.
Here is a sample of some sound bytes today morning
“Do plate Idli with extra chutney”
“ Govind bhai thoda extra onion maro mera dosa main”
“ Govind bhai mujhe bhoolna nahin mera aloo wala hai”
“Mera cheese dosa, Govind Bhai” croons a true foodie, trying to gain the attention of Govind Bhai.
“Oh Nooooo, I can’t have all that cheese and butter”, panics a PYT who obviously is yet to evolve into a true foodie.
Her pleas are ignored for Govind Bhai is willing to customize the dosas as you like, as long as it has enough butter to keep Amul Factories running. Henry Ford would have approved.
The aroma arising from the dosas which are garnished with toppings of onions, potatoes, secret spices, butter, cheese, and a deft squeezing of a slice of Tomato is enough to make your salivary glands go into overdrive. But the queue is long and Govind Bhai has only 2 hands so he can make only 8 dosas at a time, so I wait and wait. As I wait I am teleported into my childhood when we will visit my granny and I would wait inside the kitchen for while she will make special fulkas for me. Each fulka about half or normal fulka, would be perfectly round, will slowly get filled with rising vapor making it puff, signaling granny that the fulka is ready. She will take the hot fulka on her hand and rub it with some homemade desi ghee and put it in my plate, only to see it vanish in my eagerly waiting mouth in a second, bringing a smile on my as well as her face.
I have never waited for my food like that ever since, except today at Govind Bhai’s bundee. I looked around I am not the only one, Govind Bhai is surrounded by foodies of all shapes, sizes professions and T divide etc. Suddenly we are no longer Hindus, Muslims, or supporters of NaMo or RaGa, we also forget to say Pehle AAP as each one of us wants the dosa, the fault lines created by T divide are forgotten while waiting for dosas. And the dosa, Ah the dosa! Sizzling in melting butter which softens the ripe tomatoes, and mellows the chilies while enhancing the flavors launched by the spices mixed in the secret masala sprinkled on the batter. As the soft batter forms a golden crust Govind Bhai starts folding them and serves them on a leaf platter resting above yesterday’s newspaper, to eagerly waiting and openly salivating foodies.
But my dosa number is yet to come, a foodie whom I have just met and who can see the eagerness on my face which only a foodie can read insists that I take the first bite of the dosa that he has received. I readily agree and understand why every foodie is going gaga over Govind Bhai. The dosa is divine, the divine is dosa, I want to say Jai Govinda, but my focus is on the dosa. My benevolent new friend encourages me to have more giving me a smile that is warmer than the plate on which the dosa attained manners numbing and nirvana-inducing properties.
My foodie friend and I don’t exchange names, just talk about the dosa and what else we plan to have. My foodie friend’s picture is given below, if you happen to know him please send this post to him and tell him what a wonderful soul he is for sharing with me the first bite from the dosa for which he patiently waited for half an hour.
While I wait for my OWN dosa to finally come, I am given a T-shirt by Times city folks, with the instant challenge that by the time the food walk ends, the T-Shirt should become tight on me. I heartily agree to the challenge and start polishing off dosas and idlis trying to keep pace with the speed with which Govind Bhai can make them. In the end, he wins and continues to serve the expanding horde of foodies around him, while I decide to take a walk to the next stop the Nimraf Irani Cafe right opposite Charminar for some asal ( asl = real) Irani Chai with Osmania biscuits.
Well, if you have not tried internationally world-famous Osmania biscuits than you don’t know what you are missing. If the legend is to be believed the Osmania biscuits were developed for the patients in Nizam Hospital, but they were so good that folks started smuggling them out and sell in the open market for the general public. Thus was born another internationally world-famous product of Hyderabad. Oh, by the way, the right way to eat Osmania biscuit is to dunk it in the hot Irani Chai, blow some air on it twice “ fooh fooh’’ and quickly place it in your mouth before the now tea-soaked biscuit succumbs to gravity and lands on your T-Shirts. I am sure you don’t want you’re made in Tirupur T-shirt to be discarded as stained by Irani Chai and Osmania biscuit. Whoever said being a foodie is easy?
While we were enjoying our tea and biscuits as the tradition is everybody was posing with Charminar in the background, Charminar’s reflection in goggles, Charminar with chai cup, and Charminar with Candyfloss.
We walked back to Shadab hotel for breakfast (what we had so far was starters) and settled in the AC family section of internationally world-famous Shadab Hotel (OK promise baba will not remind you of any other internationally world famous Hyderabadi item anymore).
Now Shadaab is foodie paradise if you love all kind of Non veg stuff so the choices for the breakfast were : Kheema ( mince meat), Magaz ( Brain of sheep or lamb etc.), Nihari ( a special lamb/mutton/beef or chicken dish slowly cooked over low flame, very popular during Ramzan). The names itself were so mouth-watering that I regretted being a vegetarian. So we order some Falooda ( Not to be confused with super sleuth Feluda of Satyajit Roy, I hope my Bong bandhus will forgive me for this analogy) which arrived in three layers resting in a glass, and I had to literally force people to wait for it till I satisfied my desire for food porn.
Stuffed we started walking back to try some hot jalebis and Kachories, the guys who make these dishes are descendants of the Halwais/chefs who trace their ancestors in north India. But before we reach there I spotted this Ganne ka joos ( juice just does not sound same as joos 😛 ) glasses, but only clicked pictures for I wanted to save some space for Jalebis.
There are 4-5 shops right near the high court where they make Jalebis right in front of you and you eat them before they cool off. After the very first bite of Jalebi on my tongue and I was speechless, partly because I forgot to do “ fooh fooh on the hot jalebi, but mostly because it was the best Jalebi I have ever had in Hyderabad.
But there were more items to try to I had no space left in my tummy. So I got some of the Samosas and Kachoris packed to bring back home for dinner. But I could not wait to try them out and all of them vanished before Lunch. 🙂
What a wonderful morning it was, I got to taste some of the best street foods for breakfast dosas, idlis, and jalebis in Hyderabad. If you have not been a part of AVI’s The Great Hyderabadi Street food Breakfast Walkathon, you don’t know what you are missing. Join the Foodies in Hyderabad group here so that you are informed of the next Breakfast Walkathon in Hyderabad.
All I can say is Foodies of the world Unite, for you having nothing to lose, and your taste buds will thank you.
And oh yes if you are wondering if I won the challenge about the T-Shirt, the answer is yes. By the time we finished our Breakfast Walkathon the brand new T-shirt was feeling tight. Well, being foodie does have its rewards!
Avinash Bhai and all the foodies in Hyderabad you rock, looking forward to more such events.
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