I was filled with glee to learn from the cabbie that Andhra Pradesh serves up some of the spiciest food in India. Some people do acrobatics with their tongues, suck milk from straws through their nostrils or contort themselves into a duffer bag.
Me, I gobble down fiery hot chillies as a bragging right. I once chomped down two scotch bonnets in under a minute. OK it’s far from world record standard but still freakish enough to shock friends.
After travelling almost 500km northeast from Bangalore to Hyderabad, capital of AP, we were famished so we raced to find food.
In this city you can’t escape the ubiquitous dish that is Hyderabadi ‘dum’ briyani, so-called to describe its method of slow cooking on coals. The Hyderabadi version is hailed as the mother of all briyanis, world famous and an integral part of Hyderabadi cuisine. I took in these facts credulously from the owner of a restaurant we picked randomly from a street overpopulated with briyani specialists, all claiming to have won an award or other.
Absolutely delicious and spicy, Hyderabadi briyani is also a legacy of the Mughal rulers who reigned over the Indian subcontinent from the mid-16th century until the 19th century. The opulent Nizams – royal representatives of the Mughal Emporers – had a penchant for the arts, literature, grandiose architecture and rich food.
With seven generations of obscenely wealthy Nizams ruling South India from Hyderabad for 200 years, you can imagine the sort of impression they left on the city. The last Nizam, Osman Ali Khan who was a direct descendant of a Mughal governor was, at his height of rule, named by Time magazine as the richest man in the world. He minted his own coins and ran his own private railway system.
As an aid to the digestion from the heaviness of a briyani meal, a tour of the Charminar mosque is highly recommended. The “Four Minarets” is an imposing monument and splendid display of Indo-Islamic architecture, constructed by Hyderabad’s founder, Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah in 1591 to mark the end of a scourge.
Ever wonder What’s Your India?? Let Madam Araisia’s Airstrology cards tell all! http://www.facebook.com/AirAsia?v=app_273284093628&ref=ts
Also, WIN goodies from Maryann’s adventure right here via AirAsia’s “What’s Your India” contest
AirAsia’s “What’s Your India” Contest terms & conditions
1. The “What’s your India” contest [“Contest”] is organised by AirAsia Berhad [“Organiser”]. The Contest will run for 9 weeks commencing from [“Contest Period”]: 10:00 (GMT +8) 9 February 2010 and end 23:59 (GMT +8) on 11 April 2010.
During the Contest Period, one (1) winner will be picked at the end of each week. The will be nine (9) winners to this Contest and each of them will receive the following prize:-
• ONE (1) souvenir from India by AirAsia Berhad.
2. The Contest is open to all members of the AirAsia blog except for the following [“Participant”]:
a. Permanent and/or temporary staff or employees of AirAsia Berhad, P.T. Indonesia AirAsia, Thai AirAsia Co., Ltd., AirAsia X Sdn. Bhd. and Go Holiday Sdn. Bhd and its immediate family members;
b. Representatives and/or agents (including advertising & promotion) of AirAsia Berhad, P.T. Indonesia AirAsia, Thai AirAsia Co., Ltd., AirAsia X Sdn. Bhd. and Go Holiday Sdn. Bhd.
3. By virtue of an entry to the Contest, Participants signify acceptance and agreement to all terms & conditions set out here.
4. To qualify for the Contest, participants will have to do the following:
Week 1: 10:00 (GMT +8) of 9 Feb 2010 – 23:59 (GMT +8) of 14 Feb 2010
Week 2: 10:00 (GMT +8) of 15 Feb 2010 – 23:59 (GMT +8) of 21 Feb 2010
Week 3: 10:00 (GMT +8) of 22 Feb 2010 – 23:59 (GMT +8) of 28 Feb 2010
Week 4: 10:00 (GMT +8) of 1 Mar 2010 – 23:59 (GMT +8) of 7 Mar 2010
Week 5: 10:00 (GMT +8) of 8 Mar 2010 – 23:59 (GMT +8) of 14 Mar 2010
Week 6: 10:00 (GMT +8) of 15 Mar 2010 – 23:59 (GMT +8) of 21 Mar 2010
Week 7: 10:00 (GMT +8) of 22 Mar 2010 – 23:59 (GMT +8) of 28 Mar 2010
Week 8: 10:00 (GMT +8) of 29 Mar 2010 – 23:59 (GMT +8) of 4 Apr 2010
Week 9: 10:00 (GMT +8) of 29 Mar 2010 – 23:59 (GMT +8) of 11 Apr 2010
a. All participants need to be a registered member of the AirAsia blog.
b. A new blog post about a city in India will be posted every week. (Total 9 posts in 9 weeks)
c. Participants need to submit a comment describing why this city (according to the blog post) resonates as their India, and to end the comment with the sentence “What’s your India?”
5. Only entries in English, Bahasa Malaysia, Bahasa Indonesia and Chinese will be accepted.
6. All entries must be submitted and received by 23:59 (GMT +8) on 14 Feb 2010, 21 Feb 2010, 28 Feb 2010, 7 Mar 2010, 14 Mar 2010, 21 Mar 2010, 28 Mar 2010, 4 Apr 2010 and 11 Apr 2010.
7. Only Participants that fulfill the Contest Mechanism stated above shall be eligible to win the Prize. Incomplete entries and/or participants that fail to fulfill the Contest Mechanism will automatically be disqualified from the Contest without notice.
8. The winners will be selected based on the most relevant and creative answer by a panel of judges appointed by the Organizer.
9. Selected winner will be contacted, at any time deemed appropriate by the Organizer, via email.
10. Under no circumstances shall the Organizer (including its respective employees, staff and agents) be liable for any loss (including loss of opportunity and consequential loss arising therewith) and/or damage suffered by any Participant and/or winner in connection with the Contest.
11. The winner is bound by the terms and conditions that come with the prize. The acceptance of prize indicates the acknowledgment and agreement of such terms and conditions.
12. The Organizer reserves its sole right and discretion to delete, remove, not consider or reject comment with content that is deemed by it to be improper or offensive in whatever nature.
13. The Organizer reserves its rights to publish or display materials or information, including but not limited to the names of all Participants for marketing, advertising and publicity purposes in any manner it deems appropriate. The Organizer further reserves its right to use any personal data of Participants in any manner and/or for any purpose it deems fit and Participant is deemed to consent to such use with no monetary payment.
14. The Organizer reserves its right to cancel, terminate or suspend the Contest with or without any prior notice and reason. For the avoidance of doubt, cancellation, termination or suspension by the Organizer shall not entitle the participant to any claim or compensation against the Organizer for any and all losses or damages suffered or incurred as a direct or indirect result of the act of cancellation, termination or suspension.
15. The terms and conditions herein shall prevail over any inconsistent terms, conditions, provisions or representations contained in any other promotional or advertising materials for the Contest. In the event of any inconsistency, conflict, ambiguity or discrepancy between the English version and the Bahasa Malaysia version of these terms and conditions, the English version shall prevail at all times.
16. The Organizer reserves its right to vary, delete or add to any of these Terms and Conditions and/or substitute or replace the gifts from time to time without any prior notice.
17. By participating in the Contest, it is deemed that the participant agrees to be bound by the terms and subject to the conditions herein set out upon submission of entry. The decisions of the Organizer in relation to every aspect of the Contest including but not limited to the type of prize and winner shall be deemed final and conclusive under any circumstance and no complaint from any participants will be entertained.
18. The decision of judges appointed by the Organizer are final, conclusive and binding and no further appeal, enquiry and/or correspondence will be entertained.