Sunday, November 1, 2015

Desserts Royal Style

The City of Pearls has always offered an assortment of desserts to choose from for the food connoisseurs. From the ubiquitous soft, gooey apricot dessert Khubaani ka Meetha to milky and the understated delight Elaneer Payasam, the latticed sweet Baadam Kii Jaali, Urusa Halwa made of beetroots and age-old bread pudding called Double Ka Meetha… traditional Hyderabadi sweets have always been around. But now, the luxury restaurants in Hyderabad are giving them a special touch by adding choicest of ingredients. Even the calorie-counting celebs, super busy top bureaucrats and politicians can’t finish their meals without opting for these sweet cravings. We present to you the vast array that luxury hotels and plush restaurants in Hyderabad have to offer.

Khubaani Ka Meetha
No scrumptious dinner or lunch in Hyderabad is ever complete without a bowlful of cooked apricots dripping in syrup and topped with dollops of ice cream or thick layers of cream. Well, whenever a celebrities land in Taj Deccan, Banjara Hills, the demand that chefs get for satisfying their sweet cravings is of King of Desserts: Khubani Ka Meetha. Dried apricots are cooked on very slow heat in sugar syrup for three – four hours till they are tender and get a sheen like glass. And when the dish is served it’s kept plain and simple. Executive chef Rishi tells us, “Simplicity is the key. I just let the apricots soak in sugar syrup till the right amount of time. We top it with cream and serve.” No wonder then other hotels of Taj Group follow suit. But it’s the guests who have the gala time. The price for the sweet dish is ` 225 ++ taxes. Details: 040 66663939

`4Urusa Halwa
Urusa Halwa is an old Nizami recipe. Since it is made with beetroot, the sweet is maroon in colour. This is a much favoured dish of Taj Falaknuma Palace. Chef Sajesh Nair prepares it with beetroot cubes, milk, ghee, sugar and cardamom powder. He says, “The name is derived from the Arabic word uroos which also means celebrations.” Urusa is an Arabic word which means bride. Perhaps because of the colour, the
halwa has been named so. It’s priced at `540 ++ taxes. Before serving, they adorn it with chandi ka varaq. Details: 040 66298585

Shahi Tukda

Yes, it’s that bread delicacy dipped in thickened milk with a dash of saffron and crunchy nuts. Better known as Double Ka Meetha, it gets this name because the dough rises to double its size on being baked. Triangles of golden fried bread are left to cook in condensed milk with saffron and cardamom. That’s how it gets its deep golden yellow colour. The dish is decorated with chandi ka varaq (silver leaf) and served with a dash of pistachios and almonds. Executive chef Agnimitra Sharma of Hotel Park Hyatt, Banjara Hills, informs, “It’s mostly the expats who swear by this dish.” 
13Baadam Kii Jaali

It is a dish with calligraphy. Yes, you heard it right. Inspired from the lattice in the windows of old palaces, this royal sweet has lacunae that are nothing but calligraphic works in Nastaliq script. The result? A delicious and beautiful pattern of sweetmeat. Made with almond powder and sugar Baadam Kii Jaali is sold by kilos. Earlier available only with age-old recipe knowing people in the crooked lanes of Old City now it is available on plush platter of Hotel ITC Kakatiya. Informs executive chef Paul, “I bake Baadam Kii Jaali in the oven for a subtle flavour. The final product turns golden yellow.” For a royal finish, he adds layers of chandi ka varaq (silver leaf) on top of the sweet. He doesn’t mention names, but asserts that his guests swear by this sweet. It is an exclusive item not available on the menu and is prepared on request. 

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