Eating like locals…juicy barbecqued kababs at Bade Miyan, Hyderabad.

I never feel like I’ve totally discovered the food scene in a city until I’ve hit up at least one roadside shack that’s a total hole-in-the-wall, where all the locals get their shawarmas in Dubai/cheesesteaks in Philly/vada pav in Mumbai/coffee in Seattle/pizza and cupcakes in NYC/tex-mex in Houston/yummy local flavor X in city Y. I want to go where the locals go for their st, no hype, no frills, simple and honest-to-goodness taste of their city.

In Hyderabad, that would mean taking an auto (tiny and super flimsy three-wheeled doorless cab) to Bade Miyan Kababs, located under necklace road in the middle Tank Bund area. Everything about it, its non-descript location (really, under the road?), cheesy tagline “Enjoy the Taste of Food,” narrow bar-style tables made out of cheap tiles (which implicitly hints: come, eat, leave – we’re not about the ambiance people.), groups of locals hanging around till 11pm, and a menu with 0% fancy and 100% native and dirt-cheap, all of it tells me that I’m at the right place for some authentic local flavor.

Yin and I get there around 11pm on a Friday night. They seem somewhat busy, even though they have only one or two groups seated at the table. The orders are streaming in from people who’re stopping by in their cars on the road above, conveniently getting the servers to give them drive-thru service without moving an inch from their cushy car seats.

Similar to many of the typical Hyderabadi eateries, they have a ‘multi-cuisine’ concept, which I’d think of as random, totally incongruous food concoctions thrown together on one menu. In this case, it was a strange mix of chaat (Indian fast food), kebabs, and weirdly (though super common in Hyderabad), chinese as well. Anything that a local tastebud could crave for at 11pm at night.

We go straight for the fast-moving goods that Bade Miyan is famous for, kababs served up hot and fresh from a huge open-air grilling plate being manned by a guy who was vigorously flipping the meats over with one hand and fanning the rising smoke with the other.

Chicken Tangdi Kabab (chicken drumsticks). Super tender and smoky, the grilling marinade had seeped right through and made each bite really juicy and flavorful.

…and the Mutton Boti Kabab. This one was suprisingly a bit bland and tasteless. Strange, I’d have expected them to have had some pretty life-changing mutton kababs. But we were pretty unmoved. So unmoved in fact that we even committed the rare act of leaving a few pieces untouched on the plate.

Loved, loved, loved the fresh parathas. They were thin and light, with alternating crispy areas and soft flaky areas. The perfect way to wrap each bite of smokey kabab.

The huge chaat fanatic that I am, I couldn’t resist ordering a plate of Sev Puri: crispy miniature puris stuffed with potatoes, doused in yogurt sauce and sweet-sour-spicy chutneys, and sprinkled with crunchy deep-fried strands of gram flour dough, aka sev.

Also tried their Pav Bhaji, which is basically this platter of veggies that’s been pressure-cooked until they break down completely and form one gloopy, addictively awesome, veggie mush (‘bhaji’), served up with super-soft buns (‘pav’) that have been grilled with Indian-style butter, aka ghee. Even though Bade Miyan had added a generous amount of spice to their bhaji (warning sign – potential tummy catastrophe!), I thoroughly enjoyed sopping up the potent tomato-dominated mush with the buttered pav.

I’ll admit I was a bit anxious about getting a tummy upset, especially after multiple warnings from friends and family to stay away from roadside stalls and shacks in India. But the anxiety started melting away with the first juicy bite of tangdi kebab and warm paratha, and totally vanished when I woke up the next morning, feeling like my usual hungry self and with a tummy fit enough for another day of local food exploration.

Bade Miyan Kababs
Phone: +91 (40 ) 98492 86169
Middle Tank Bund, Hyderabad
2 pm to 11 pm

Author: InaFryingPan

With a family legacy of ingenious cooks, a nutritionist and chef-extraordinaire mother, and a father who introduced me to steak and caviar when I could barely reach the table, I had no choice but to acquire a keen awareness of food during my childhood years in Dubai. But it was only after I found myself on a college campus in Philadelphia – far away from home, too cheap as a student to spend on anything other than pizza, and with dorm rooms that had little rat-holes of kitchens if they even had them at all – when I developed a heightened appreciation of food. An appreciation of food that I once ate every night at the dinner table in Dubai, but that was now an entire ocean away. I lusted for the culinary treasures that lay outside the stale walls of my college dining hall, hijacked friends’ kitchens to try my hand at something, anything , remotely edible, and greedily raided different websites in search of highly-rated restaurants. With my move to New York to work for a consulting firm that secretly harbored self-professed foodies, my appreciation transformed into a passion, an addicition. I felt like everyone around me in New York was talking about food: where to get the best cupcakes, pizza slices, banh mi, kati rolls, pho, fried chicken, and every other food item out there that is just a plain old dish in some part of the world, but that’s become hyped to unforeseen proportions in New York. What fuelled my addiction over time was travel to different cities, both for work and play, which gave me unfettered access to the culinary havens of not only New York, but also of DC, Virginia, Chicago, Houston, Vegas, Austin, Seattle and even a little city called Bentonville (Arkansas!). After 9 years away from home, I’ve finally taken the leap to come back to Dubai – with not just an awareness, but genuine appreciation and passionate addiction for what I’d taken for granted as a child. Mom, I’m back to reclaim my seat at your dinner table, and to rediscover this city with its ever-expanding menu of international flavors.

1 thought on “Eating like locals…juicy barbecqued kababs at Bade Miyan, Hyderabad.

  1. Saleem Ahmed says:

    you have gone adventurous – I would not have the stomach to try all that – all the best and have fun!


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