During the holy month of Ramzan, as the sun goes down and the lights come on, the streets around Charminar undergo a magical transformation. The bylanes, which are almost deserted during sunset, begin bustling with activity as people flitter onto the streets. Ramzan is a month of fasting and abstinence but in Hyderabad it is also notable for the dazzling array of delicacies on offer for Iftar and Sehri. There’s nothing quite like taking a post-dusk stroll down the older parts of the city but Kanak, the Indian speciality restaurant at Trident Hyderabad, is offering foodies an opportunity to relish the Iftar favourites from Hyderabad as well as many other parts of the country in the comfort of a fine-dine.
I was invited by Trident Hyderabad to a ‘Dawat e Iftar’ (Iftar feast) organised for bloggers of the city. We were welcomed with a portion of dates, the traditional way of breaking the fast, and a glass of rose sharbat. The Chef’s special menu for the blogger’s table showcased a dozen dishes from the completely revamped Kanak menu that features popular Iftar delicacies from across the country. Nadir Mand – deep fried lotus stems, and Kakkar Kanti – tender chicken cubes cooked with onions and Kashmiri spices showcased homely Kashmiri recipes, while Tandoori Bharwan Aloo, potatoes stuffed with cheese and nuts and cooked in the tandoor, was an apt representative of the decadence of Awadhi cuisine. The only disappointment in the starters was the Tala Hua Gosht, a typical greasy and fiery Hyderabadi preparation of pan-fried mutton. I love the Tala Hua Gosht dished out in the streets of Old City but Trident’s version was watered-down, quite literally, as it had been finished off with a mutton broth.
Hyderabadi Biryani might be a perennial favourite, but the month of Ramzan belongs to Haleem. I was sceptical about Haleem at a fine-dine but those doubts were put to rest pretty quickly. The Haleem was meaty, adequately spiced, and quite simply delicious. It couldn’t replicate the elastic texture of the other commercial Haleem that are laboriously cooked in large pits for hours but it’s still among the best Haleem that I’ve tried this season.
The mains began with another display of the opulence of Awadhi cuisine. Much like other royal cuisines, Awadh is also commonly associated with its non-vegetarian dishes but Trident, once again, impressed with a veg delicacy – Gobi Musallam, whole cauliflower cooked in a rich cashew nut and yoghurt gravy. It was followed by another dish from the North — Dahi Gosht. Tender cubes of mutton are cooked in a tantalising gravy that beautifully constrasts the richness of the spices with the acidity of yoghurt. The Dahi Gosht alone is sufficient to justify a visit to Kanak. I paired it with the speciality breads on offer – Khamiri Roti, Sheermal, and Peshwari Naan. No prizes for guessing what was the final dish in the mains – a saffron-infused, aromatic and flavourful Hyderabadi Kacchi Gosht ki Biryani. We wrapped up our lavish dinner in style with a platter of desserts featuring Balosahi, Seb ki Kheer, Lauki ka Halwa, and Sheer Kurma, followed by a cup of refreshing, honey laced Kashmiri Kahwa.
The special a la carte ‘Dawat E Iftar’ menu will be available at Kanak till Ramzan.