Little bites of History – Once upon a time, Green Park,Hyderabad

This food festival is not like any other. Yes, there have been many unique and really good ones but this is one of a kind. I’m sure , not many of you have tried this. The dishes are from the ancient times and are taken from the Sangam literature.

This is a concept of the tasting menu. You have dishes from Kakatiya Dynasty , Chola dynasty , British raj and Vijaynagar Dynasty. A few of them are still made today but have a lot of additions and new ingredients added in and at the same time a few are interesting and never heard of before.

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Chef Shri Bala is a Charted Accountant by profession but her interests in food and its culture have taken her a level ahead. An interest to explore food from the ancient times, knowing about the ingredients, the methods of cooking and their flavour profiles have resulted in a such a well curated tasting menu.

According to her , this wasn’t an easy task. A lot of digging and understanding went in. Most of the recipes were in poetry form without the quantity of ingredients and written in a mix of Tamil and Sanskrit. The dishes are based on them with no use of green chillies, rice etc. Rice and a few other simple ingredients were considered royal and only the kings were privileged to have them. The use of millets was much common because the higher productivity and due to the dry lands and major crops.

Lets check it out. #hyderabadfoodexplorer #onceuponatime

Ambience:

A classy bright look after a complete revamp. The tables were well laid, clean and a good cover set up. The walls have a simple design with a few circular elements on one side and classic table set up on the other. There is quite a lot in the newer version but let move on to the food now.

Food:

The first was the amuse bouche, it was a cucumber disc in yogurt or a different form of cucumber raita crusted with crispy rice.

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The meal started on a sweet note back then, today we had Thinai Puttu , its similar to sweet pongal made with foxtail millet, jaggery and coconut. A real good start.

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Appetizers:

The first one from the actual tasting I’ve tried was the Kori Kosambari. This was a salad with grated cucumber , lentils, chunks of  boiled egg and chicken. It had a citrus marinade. The vegetarian option is the Bele kosambari which has raw mango.

Prawn rolls were a part of the british raj. It had a dinner roll , the inside part was cleared out, deep fried and filled with prawns mixed in white sauce.

Soup:

Nandu Sambharam was a creamy soup based out of coconut cream. It had small dumplings made with the flesh of mud crabs. Lightly spiced with black pepper and hers, finished off with lemon juice.

Entree:

Maamsam Gunta Punugulu was something I tried or the first time. These were made using jowar. I felt it lacked the bit of mutton in it , but still went really well along with the allam chutney. Crispy fried dumplings . light on the inside and golden brown on the outside.

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Another star was Karuvepillai kadai Varuval , the quail was amazing. Slow cooked quail on the bone in a onion and black pepper based masala. we literally wiped the bowl clean.

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Apart from these we had one from the vegetarian menu. The Benne Rava unde was one of a kind. Hence we got a portion of that. Semolina was sauteed in lots of butter, cooked with a little water and then made as stuffing into potlis using paan leaves. A really good one.

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We had a palate cleanser before moving to the mains. It was a refreshing orange sorbet witha pinch of black pepper powder.

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Main course:

Kubab curry was another stunner. One of the best curries I’ve had. Also this is something unique. It had a chicken curry at the base and then topped with tender mutton kebabs. The meat was cooked to perfection. The tenderest mutton I had in Hyderabad. This went really well along with the Beyyam pindi attlu and Jonna Rotte.

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Hinawr Meen Gassi was equally good. The gravy was made with coconut. But what gave it its composition and flavour was the use of shallots. The murrel was cooked well and this went along with steamed rice.

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Desserts:

For the desserts we had Bhojanadhika Roti, a roti made using wheat , cooked in a tandoor, soaked in milk , topped with jaggery and coconut. It has a hint of camphor in it as well. The other was Patir Pheni, a flaky pastry made with maida and topped with nuts and condensed milk.

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This is a Highly recommended one (the tasting menu). The entire meal allows you to know different versions of the present dishes and also learn and try something new. A true culinary experience.

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Service, Pricing and Location:

The service was spot on , quick with the new dishes,clearing out and order management.

The tasting menu for vegetarian is priced at 1100++ for Vegetarian and 1550++ for Non Vegetarian. The fest is on till 21st July (Sunday). The fest is on only for Dinners.

Address: Hotel Green Park, Begumpet, Hyderabad

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Once Upon A Time - Hotel GreenPark Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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