Hyderabad: If you want to try authentic north-eastern dishes like Jhol Momos – a special dish where spicy, tangy peanut-based sauce is poured on freshly made momos – or Gurkha Thali, a wholesome Sikkim dish, then head to 7sisters.
Nestled in a beautiful corner in Banjara Hills, the newly-opened north-east cafe and restaurant 7sisters is a rooftop cafe with a partially open kitchen and spacious outdoor space. It has an array of authentic north-eastern and pan Asian food to offer.
If you are lucky, you might also be able to hear Sanjay, one of the chefs, singing a medley of Nepali, Assamese, and Hindi songs. Sanjay often sings local folk songs while dicing vegetables and meat. His songs really lend the place a different vibe.
The 7sisters cafe has a diverse menu. Apart from north-eastern dishes like thukpa, Gurkha thali, and momos they also serve authentic Thai, Japanese, Burmese, Nepali, and other Asian food.
All workers and cooks in the cafe hail from the 'Seven Sister' states of India – Sikkim, Manipur, Nagaland, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, and Tripura. The owner, Kailash Lama, is from Darjeeling and has been living in Hyderabad for the last 14 years.
In all the time that Kailash has stayed in Hyderabad, he said he never found authentic north-eastern food, particularly momos. "In Darjeeling, momos are made fresh and instantly. But here, at a lot of places I observed that they are frozen and reheated over and over again," he says explaining how he used to frequently crave north-eastern dishes.
After working at various restaurants and in the event management industry, Kailash finally took a leap of faith and started the cafe. "Initially, we only served momos. But as business began picking up, our customers asked for pan Asian cuisine. So we started that as well," he says.
At 7sisters, one can choose from a variety of delectable sushi and uramaki. Served with a bit of wasabi, pickled radish, and soy sauce, they have various kinds of sushi.
They also serve authentic dishes such as Selroti, a traditional homemade ring-shaped sweet rice bread popular in Nepal and the Kumaon region of India; Sinju, a dish from Manipur which originated with the Meitei culture but has been widely adopted by most of the ethnic communities of the state and in some neighboring states of north-east India; and Sekuwa, meat roasted on a wood fire.
Head chef Kismat Linbu describes Khao Swe which is a Burmese dish that comes with fried onions, chilies, peanuts, spices, boiled noodles, coconut milk broth, bean fritters, and lime as his favorite dish. "While the dishes' roots are Burmese, it is a popular dish in all the north-eastern states. This particular dish is served in bamboo baskets which I brought from my hometown in Assam. It's how we eat and we want people in Hyderabad to have the authentic experience while eating," he says.
Kismat sayd Jhol Momos is one of the dishes always in demand at 7sisters. One of the main ingredients in this dish is Jhol Achat, ]Nepali hog plum.
"We make some dishes slightly spicier to cater to the Hyderabadi populations' taste buds," Kismat says.
7sisters Banjara Hills is the new outlet. There is another in Hitex, Kondapur.