There’s a comfort zone outside which Hyderabadi palates rarely stray for long, but places like Farzi Café are urging city folk to have a go at their regularly revamped menus, promising some familiar flavours embedded within the eye-gasmic dishes.
Having been with the Farzi Hyderabad family from the start, chef Kuldeep Singh Rana is always eager to innovate, mixing traditional techniques with novel trends. His plentiful experience in Bangalore and Delhi only pushes the young Delhi-born chef Kuldeep to learn more of Telangana’s taste inclinations — and so far, his new menu with 20 new dishes is a win.
So how has chef Kuldeep made the most of out current food trends while satisfying the everyday Hyderabadi who walks in?
Piling on the pretty
Presentation and styling take on trends just the way flavours do, and the tandoori paneer salad is presented in a kitsch way with neat stacks layered with baked beans and chickpeas, creating a striking photo while also offering up a more realistic portion size for the hungry mind’s eye.
Grouped in with the stacking trend is the chilli chicken patti samosa with sulaimani chai chutney. Adhering to Telugu tongues, the filling of the samosa is brimming with green chilli paste while the thick drippy chutney is the ideal counterpart for this wholly acidic dish. “I didn’t want to distract the eater with the chutney or the green chillies,” says chef Kuldeep, “but rather harmonise the flavours.”
The four cheese trend is reflective in the four cheese chicken tikka. Marinating meats in a number of cheeses is a way to play into this addictive stuff’s potential; it secures moisture within the meat and, funnily enough, after cooking, there’s only a slight waft of cheesy aroma and taste, letting the meat sing in your mouth. Chef Kuldeep uses a mixture of Amul and cheddar among others to achieve this, pairing the dish with a slightly acidic Jalapeno raita.
One of the favourites in the current menu is a carbon black bao with dripping cheesy butter chicken.
The usage of carbon black — of vegetable carbon variety or regular edible carbon — is rapidly becoming the hottest thing on one’s plate for their social networking networth, especially with its stark contrast against the burnt orange shade of the butter chicken. The charcoal food trend is something of a continued trend which still feels very new; Carl’s Jr and Burger King normalised it slightly in their regular menu in India. Often derived from the burning of coconut shells, wood, or other plant materials, but shouldn’t be heated directly.
In the case of this dish at Farzi, however, the colour is derived from edible carbon powder made from coconut.
For the sweet tooth
A sure winner for those looking for a different deal sweetener is the flour less chocolate cake which is delightfully moist. While the very foundation of a typical cake relies on flour, chef Kuldeep has used butter as a binding agent and to keep the foundation soft.
For those not looking to have a food coma induced by chocolate, the khubani and maple cake sings to the fact that maple is making the rounds again. Despite coming off as potentially over-saccharine, the apricot notes with the slight smokiness of the maple makes for a sweet cleanser.
Food trends Hyderabad needs:
Seeing as the city is half-in-love with superfoods, why not aggrandise acai bowls to up everyone’s breakfast game?
Essentially sushi without the rolled presentation, these are a daily dish in Hawaii and this dish isn’t easy to find.
Newer meat cuts
Largely, we’re a meat-loving society; so why not shift away from the traditional fares of tenderloins, ribeye and filet mignon, and towards cuts like Vegas Strip Steak (cut from the shoulder area), Merlot cut (from the heel) and Bavette (the bottom part of sirloin known as flap meat).
I’m frankly tired of seeing packaged sauces at the forefront of table-top condiments. So seeing restaurants and cafés putting their all into making their own sauces will up their consumer game.
Using every part of the animal and/or vegetable or fruit is a respectable way to further the sustainable cooking movement. #KhabarLive