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Indian food is known as Desi food by the natives. Because the word for 'our land' is Des. I love cooking Indian food so if there are any others who are interested, I'd love to share.
 

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Hi Snicker

I hope you are looking forward to Hyderabad. You will really enjoy the food. Thats one great historical mix of cuisines. You can find so many types of really good food in Hyderabad, that I would think you'd want to just sample them all. And then think about cooking for yourself. What an opportunity. Let me elaborate. 

In Hyderabad you will find a predominance of very spicy HOT dried red chilli pepper powder in many of the dishes. The red color in those dishes is not from tomato...so watch out. But having said that, once you develop a taste for red chilli pepper on your palate, you will keep wanting more and more of that heat. Some people can take it, and come can't. You will find out for yourself. Remember the antidote of Capsaicin is Dairy. So cool yogurt or cold milk will do wonders to a burning tongue. 

In Hyderabad you will also find 'Biryani'. The hyderabadi biryani cooked in the "DUM" or pressured style is amazing. The old style of cooking Biryani was to make a pit in the ground, fill it with a wood and coal fire and place a heavy bottom pan into it for cooking. In this pan one would have Ghee or clarified butter as the cooking medium. To this, whole warm spices like brown and green cardamom, cloves, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and star anise would be added. Some finely diced onions, saute'd till golden brown, then you would add a paste of ginger and garlic to be fried for a bit. Finally chicken or meat marinated in yogurt and turmeric would be added to this mix and allowed to cook in its own juices, till done well. When done, this meat would be set in the same or similar heavy bottom container and layers of the meat and cooked basmati rice. On top of the final layer of rice, one would spread crispy fried onions, fried cashews and sprinkle saffron and rose petals soaked in milk. Cover with a lid and seal tightly with Chapatti dough or flatbread dough. Leave the pot in the pit to simmer over the embers. When its done, and you open the seal, the Hyderabadi Dum Biryani that comes out is like magic! To be enjoyed on its own or accompanied by some lassi (buttermilk). Mughlai cuisine is a mix of persian and indian influences and an entire era was given royal patronage. You can find it alive and flourishing in Hyderabad. Be it in this form, or the kebabs, or shorbas, or payas or saalan. Each one more delightful than the other. 

In Hyderabad you will also find authentic vegetarian food like Kootu, Thokku, Pulusu, Sambhar, Rasam, Dosa, Idli, Vada, Upma and other savories that are all vegetarian. They are prepared slightly differently than those found in Chennai since the two regions are different. But to many tourists, they represent a vegetarian variety that is universally understood as 'South Indian Food'. 

You will also find Maharashtrian influence there. This is seen in dishes which have fresh coconut, tamarind and red chilli powder in that combination with fresh vegetables and daals. 

Food is relatively inexpensive and I would just eat at a different location each time till I discovered one that I like. Of course you might not want to do that, so please take my ways of waxing poetically with a big pinch of salt. 

For a quick study, I would recommend all the you tube videos by NISHA MADHULIKA. She has a website called nishamadhulika.com. And even Wall Street Journal has featured her as the person with the largest video following on you tube. She makes videos about Indian foods and cooking. Does an awesome job, though those of you who are not used to the high pitched lilt, might want to watch with subtitles. But her techniques are great. For Gujarati food, I'd recommend BHAVNA'S KITCHEN on you tube. She is very authentic too. See several street food videos from Hyderabad. Enjoy your time there. 

Dhokla
 
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