Savoury Stories: Pallab De

George Bernard Shaw once famously said that “there was no sincerer love than the love of food”, Hyderabad is it would seem, have applied this belief with the utmost sincerity.

Hyderabad is no stranger to good food – from rarer and more esoteric delicacies such as marag and paaya to the more ubiquitous haleem and biryani, the city has had a food culture that has been right there on top with the country’s (and perhaps the world’s finest cuisines). Just ask any Hyderabadi living abroad what he misses most about the city and Biryani is sure to feature in the long list of things that are so nostalgically recollected.

With the urbanisation of Hyderabad however, the city has witnessed a growing expansion of gastronomic needs. A large migrant population has demanded more than just biryani and as a consequence, the city has seen a massive growth in specialty restaurants, especially in the past 10 odd years. Hence finding the best place to eat in the city is like a treasure hunt! To simplify which, we put together a list of the best food bloggers in Hyderabad that you must follow if you never want to have a bad food experience again.

WARNING: Follow them on your own risk cause once you follow them your news feed will be full of drool worthy dishes which you won’t be able to resist

Text: Anahita Ahuja

Pallab De

When did blogging start?

I began blogging over 12 years ago with a humble personal and technical blog. Later on, while in college, I did a good bit of technical blogging, churning out over five hundred pieces. I began my food blog, Hyderabad Food Guy, a little over three years ago.

What are the basic elements you keep in mind while taking pictures for your write-ups?

I’ve an almost obsessive fixation with perspective. Perspective distortion can drive me up the wall and is something that I consciously try to avoid while taking pictures. I also like to follow the rule of thirds.

How much planning goes into each piece?

Each piece takes me anywhere between two to four hours. The effort includes preparing the rough draft, tightening this draft, editing images, and formatting the post.

What is the most interesting dish you have ever tried?

Molecular gastronomy gets a lot of flak for being gimmicky, but in the right hands it can be a revelation. One of my most fascinating meals was at Caperberry (Bengaluru). It was an elaborate prix-fixe meal that began with a Gazpacho (Spanish Cold Tomato Soup) served with Tuna Tartare and Pineapple Ice cream. That combination of flavours absolutely blew me away. I instantly knew that I was going to have a memorable dinner.

Do you enjoy cooking?

My cooking skills are pretty rudimentary and I usually stick to simple stuff like Baked Fish in Lemon Butter Sauce or Honey Grilled Chicken.

Which are the blogs you follow?

I still follow a lot of Tech Blogs. Regular reads include The Ken and The Verge. Among food blogs, I follow Foodaholix, Moha Mushkil, and Pritha Sen’s columns.

What are your favourite regional cuisines or specific foods?

Bacon is my absolute favourite ingredient. Whether it’s a Butter Chicken or a scoop of ice cream – a bit of bacon can probably make it better.

If you could have any four people, from anywhere in place, over for dinner, who would they be?

I’d probably want to dine with Imitiaz Qureshi, Heston Blumenthal, Massimo Bottura, and Ferran Adrià. These people are geniuses and talking to them about food is bound to be an enlightening experience.

If you could just banish any one food, from the earth, what would it be?

Nothing. Food is very personal and what I might hate could very well be someone else’s favourite.

How would you describe your site to new readers?

An honest attempt to showcase the best of the Hyderabad Food scene.

Rapid Fire:

Favourite sweet ingredient to cook with: Honey

When I’m feeling lazy I cook…: I order food

My ‘pick me up’ dish: Sorshe Maachh (Bengali style Fish in Mustard gravy) and Rice

For a romantic meal I would want to eat: Classical French

On a winter evening I would eat: Wai Wai

My most recommended restaurant: Jonathan’s Kitchen. It burst onto the scene a couple of years back and has consistently provided top notch food, service, and value for money.

Blog: www.hydfoodguy.com

Instagram: @hydfoodguy