Laham mandi at Mataam-al-arabi


Barkas is a largely arab dominated suburb of Hyderabad. The arabs here are mostly Yemenis who were part of the Nizams army. They were given the title ‘Chaush’ or palace officers. Barkas’s quite distinct from the ‘Old City’ and even Golkonda parts of Hyderabad. Lookwise, it might be similar to any lower middle-class muslim locality in Hyderabad. You’ll find the regular sighting of boys zipping ’round on their Pulsar bikes. Small kirana stores with a one-odd customer. Huge function halls lying empty. Probably meant to fill up only during a marriage. Mobile repair shops with lot’s of ‘em vella public. But dig a little deeper ‘n lo! It’s very very different. You can see a fair bit of men wearing their traditional futah or Yemeni sarong for men. Which’s like a lungi but worn differently. Not a single place serving the omnipresent biryani. In Barkas, it’s the Mandi and the Kabsa that rule. Not even the poor man’s Kalyani biryani. Barkas’s indeed an unforgettable experience ‘n has to offer many unique Hyderabad dishes that’re purely arab in pedigree.

unique hyderabad dishes

Mataam al arabi at Barkas – unique hyderabad dishes


This’s one of Barkas’s oldest restaurants. Started in 2005. It’s recently shifted to a swankier location. Which’s a great looking space. Neat ‘n clean but has managed to retain their original identity. The best part’s that this restaurant has no tables ‘n chairs. You’ve to sit on the floor. The food comes in a traditional big thal. Kept on small stools with everyone sitting around. This’s a true arab experience.

The mandi is a typical Yemeni / arab style of cooking rice in which the logs of wood’re fired in an underground pit. The rice in a vessel’s kept above. Covered with a mesh ‘n the laham or mutton’s put on top. The pit’s then covered with a lid ‘n mud on top. The rice ‘n the mutton cooks slowly over 2-3 hours in the residual heat. Resulting in an end product which’s soft, juicy ‘n falling off the bone. Outstanding stuff.

Mataam-al-arabi also has two superb desserts. The very arab Aseed ‘n the Hyderabadi Kaddu ka kheer. The Aseed or Aseeda’s a typical Yemeni dessert made from pounded wheat, jaggery ‘n khoya. It has quite an unusual taste ‘n texture. Kaddu ka kheer, on the other hand’s very Hyderabadi. Made from lauki or bottle gourd ‘n not pumpkin. For some strange reason, bottle gourd’s called kaddu in Hyderabad. This’s a light dessert ‘n quite tasty.

unique hyderabad dishes

Laham mandi at Mataam-al-arabi – unique hyderabad dishes


unique hyderabad dishes

Aseed at Mataam-al-arabi


unique hyderabad dishes

Aseed at Mataam-al-arabi


unique hyderabad dishes

Kaddu ka kheer

Details of the place 

Address – Close to Erragunta x road, Besides Aarayash furniture, Pahari Shareef road, Barkas, Hyderabad.

Timing – 12 noon to 11pm.

Pricing – The Laham mandi’s priced at Rs.240. The Chicken mandi at Rs.150. Aseed at Rs.60 and kaddu ka kheer at Rs.30.

Phone number – +91 998524 1700, +91 9391153081

unique hyderabad dishes

Mataam al arabi Barkas


unique hyderabad dishes

Laham mandi at Mataam-al-arabi


unique hyderabad dishes

Menu at Mataam-al-arabi


Location on Google maps

View Mataam al arabi in a larger map

About Chowder Singh’s street food guide 

This guide has references to Chowder Singh’s favourite street food in Hyderabad and offbeat eating places along with photos and location on Google maps. Kindly note that Chowder Singh pays for all his meals. There are no listings against freebies or payment. And absolutely no going around looking for free vada pav. If you’ve been to Mataam-al-arabi or had any other unique Hyderabad dishes. Would love to hear your feedback. Either in the comments section below. Or please email at

Happy hunting unique Hyderabad dishes and chow-chow!

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  1. Hi, I am very impressed with detail information about the food from Hyderabad either traditional or non traditional. I was looking for Mandi place in Hyderabad as i have migrated to western country since 1999. Truly, amazed with detail information right from sitting arrangement, location details with cultural background to pricing information. Please keep up the good work.
    You are truly my food hero as i was craving for mandi and you made my trip worthwhile.
    Lots of love and thanks in million.

  2. Hi again, I have gone thru the entire section of Hyderabad as i hail from there that too from oldcity very close to charminar. I would like to suggest a very delicious food. It is a kabab place and it is entirely on street and they sell it usually at night time hence i suggest you to go there at around 9:pm. moving on to location it is little tricky to find but i will try to explain the very best i can so i am sure you are familiar with zoo park in Hyderabad if not you can easily find out where it is. Before zoo park there is an intersection namely Bahadurpura and ask for the direction( road) to Chandulal baradari but you don;t have to go there it is on the way hardly i would say 500meter or less then a kM from bahadupara intersection you will find that location on left side as it has no name purely getto or beat up place however, the food is very yummi i truly like the chatni with kabab. Your site is on my bookmark and i will be watching for that post. I don;t think it is best idea to go in the month of Ramzan as people are crazy of haleem so, try after ramzan. I will give more yummi food locations in oldcity once i see your posting. I miss all the typical hyderabadi food.

  3. Chowder Singh says: (Author)

    Thank you Syed.

  4. Sabyasachi says:

    Food is just awesome here… especially the Leham Mandhi and the Bater. Once you have it, you will keep coming back for more. Thanks Chowder Singh for introducing us to this hidden gem.

  5. Sumadhar says:

    Barkas is truly an unexplored Arabian side of Hyderabad. (splly for me)

    My Foodie evening started as we arrived at our first rendezvous – Lajawaab Haleem. Same as the name, haleem @ Lajawaab Haleem was awesome. Also Sulemani @ this place was praised by Chai-lovers in the group. Then it was time for Mandi (Chicken, Mutton, Quail) and super-sweet Aseed at Matham-Al-Arabi. We then moved on to Al-Arabi, which is only a 500 mts away, where we again had a bit better tasting mandi. We also got to taste vanilla flavoured Khaddu ka kheer and yummy Khubani Ka meetha at the same place. Lastly, Jozi Halwa was a perfect way to end the meal. As a few fellow foodies moved on to Charminar area, I bid adieu to all.

    All-in all, had a wonderful evening. The Arabic food and customs are undoubtedly unique and special in their own way. Especially the practices of dining on the floor, 4/5 people sharing food from same (big) thali are enthralling.

    The whole experience feels surreal as I recollect everything now.
    Looking fwd to meet you’ll in future foodie meets!
    Thanks to Chowder Singh group & fellow foodies who’ve made this hangout possible.

    Proud to be Hyderabadi – was, is and always will be! Good Night!

  6. Chowder Singh says: (Author)

    Thank you Sumadhar

  7. Salman khan says:

    Best survey of authentic Arab food-The section of Barkas was extremely special and with proper details- Hatts off to you Mr.Chowder singh -Best guider of Food at present in Hyderabad!!!!!!!!!!

  8. I have been to barkas a number of times, although the mandi is not that authentic like the one you get in Saufi Arabia and Dubai but its not bad either! infact I would sugest barkas to all arabic food lovers.
    Btw, a very interesting post with some amazing pics!

  9. And yes btw, mataam al arabi is open till 4 in the morning. They close their shutters by 11pm however keep running till morning. I have been their even at 3am

  10. Aaj hi khaya mast tha waha arrangement.

  11. minhaj ahmed says:

    tasty foods at matam al arabi i enjoy weekends at this place with my friends. very good environment at matam, enjoy at matam.