Saturday, August 24, 2013

What I ate in Hyderabad - Wedding food!

It was all about wedding food in Hyderabad.
Pakistani weddings are multi-day events, and both the wedding ceremony and the Mehndi party were to take place in Hyderabad.

I will talk a lot more about my experience in these events on another post, but for now I just want to focus on food. The Mehndi party was a lavish affair, taking place at the Indus Hotel in Hyderabad. When I arrived at 10:00 pm, they were serving several kinds of juice, and some Pakistani street food such as the chaat and pani puri. I thought this was the main food of the evening but oh I was wrong...

Chaat served at the mehndi
Pani Puri served at the mehndi

After the mehndi dancing, we went outside to the terrace for the real dinner. It was around 1:00 am at this point, but I still loaded my plate up with one sample of everything. I put rice in the center of the plate, then surrounded it with meat and vegetable dishes, because traditionally rice is eaten with everything.  I ate with my hands by scooping a bit of the food with rice in my fingers, then indecorously jamming it in my mouth. I still haven't mastered the art of eating with my hands.

My favorite courses were the spinach, and the ground orange vegetable dish at the top of the photo.  

dinner plate served at the Mehndi

The wedding ceremony took place the following night. While at the mehndi party we ate at 1:00 am after the dancing ceremony, this time we ate before the wedding ceremony,  but it still ended up being at 1:00 am, because the ceremony did not get started until 3:00 am. Another wonderfully late night.  

Again there was a lavish spread of food at the wedding ceremony, which also took place outside. It was buffet-style, as the mehndi party had been, and there was an array of both meat and vegetarian dishes. 

This time, I stuck to the vegetarian dishes, because I like those better, and I wanted to have a lighter dinner than last night. 

wedding dinner plate

One of the best things about the wedding feat was the desert. My favorite was the traditional ice cream, which is called "kulfi." When they told me the name I thought they were saying "goofy," so I called it goofy ice cream for a while.  It was thick like a cake, and creamy, with pistachios and nuts. 

kulfi ice cream

My other favorite dessert was called "gola ganda." It is basically what we would call a "snow cone" in the U.S.  or "shaved ice" in Taiwan. It is crushed or shaved ice covered with a sweet syrup. 

gola ganda at the wedding

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