is an epitome of India's composite heritage. It is a confluence of several cultures and identities, Indian and foreign, but with a compelling identities. Indian and foreign, but with a compelling identity all its own, so wondrously compelling identity all its own 400 years ago by its founders, Sultan Mohammed Quli. His invocation for the city was that "millions of men and women of all castes, creeds and religions (should) make it their abode, like fishes in the ocean". In the same spirit, he first named the city Bhagnagar, after his Hindu consort Bhagmati. Later, when the queen was conferred the title of Hyder Mahal, he renamed the city after her to Hyderabad. This book takes you on a short and somewhat sentimental journey to Hyderabad, allowing you to take in the city's charming history, experience its enchanting culture and its somewhat overdone social graces and above all, savour its exquisite cuisine. Like the city's heritage, culture and language, Hyderabadi food is a fusion of several inputs. It blends the class and refinement of the north with the sauce and spice of the south. The repertoire is rich, vast and seductive, both in vegetarian and non-vegetarian fare, and boasts of several varieties of kebabs and biryanis, and curries and dals. This is the first authentic magnum opus on Hyderabadi cuisine and is ornamented with several brilliant photographs. Pratibha Karan was born in Bombay and grew up in Bombay, Calcutta, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi. She did MA (Economics) from Lady Shri Ram college, Delhi University and then joined the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) in 1967. She is presently working in the Ministry of Industry in the Government of India. Exposed to various regional cuisines since early childhood, and also to Burmese cuisine because her parents had settled in Burma for over three decades, she developed an abiding predilection for food of various flavors and textures. Her marriage to Vijay Karan brought her face-to-face with Hyderabadi cuisine, to which she took an instant and passionate fondness. This book is an articulation of an intensely precious culinary and cultural experience. This book is an articulation of an intensely precious culinary and cultural experience.