Hyderabad House offers authentic Indian food

Goat Fry Biryani ($15.99) Goat meat is pan-fried with a special sauce and served on biryani rice with purple onion, cilantro and a lime wedge.

Goat Fry Biryani ($15.99) Goat meat is pan-fried with a special sauce and served on biryani rice with purple onion, cilantro and a lime wedge.

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Hyderabad House
Image description
Hyderabad House
In November 2014, three south Indian transplants blended the distinct flavors of their cultures to open Nawabi Hyderabad House, an Indian restaurant in The Woodlands. Since its opening, The Woodlands franchise location has attracted patrons from across the Houston area with its particular medley of authentic Indian cuisine.

Hyderabad House was strategically located on Sawdust Road to provide the growing Indian population in The Woodlands with traditional cuisine, Hyderabad House co-owner Lokesh said. Three years later, Lokesh said he and his fellow co-owners, Chandra Mouli and Sree Bharat, were pleasantly surprised their authentic food transcended far beyond the Indian community.

“When we started, we thought we would target the Indian community here with authentic food, but we were surprised after we started our business to see Americans come in and ask for the spicy food,” Bharat said. “Due to globalization and a lot of people traveling, people are very familiar with Indian food and they know exactly what they are ordering.”

Hyderabad House’s diverse menu was inspired by Mouli, Bharat and Lokesh’s Indian cultures. Although they all grew up in India, the cuisine and dialect of their respective home cities are all different, as Bharat grew up in Hyderabad, Lokesh in Bangalore and Mouli in Chennai.

After meeting while playing on an intramural cricket team in The Woodlands seven years ago, Bharat said the co-owners’ shared passion for cooking and eating Indian food quickly inspiring the friends to go into business.

Hyderabad House’s menu is unique from the other franchised locations, Bharat said, using a blend of spices and traditional cooking techniques—like cooking specific meats in a clay oven—to create the signature flavor.

The menu features traditional south Indian dishes, including vegetarian and meat-based curries, tandoori dishes, a variety of dosas—or savory crepes made with various fillings—and the popular Hyderabadi dish, biryani, which is a mixed-rice dish topped with marinated meat or vegetables.

In the future, the three friends hope to open a Hyderabad House food truck as well as apply for an alcohol license to transform the eatery into a fine-dining experience, Lokesh said. Until Hyderabad House acquires a beer and wine license, the restaurant allows patrons to bring their own.

Bharat said the restaurant focuses on using fresh ingredients and offering food prepared from scratch daily to remain authentic.

“Almost anyone can run a restaurant, but you have to put a lot of effort into it to keep up the good service and quality,” Bharat said. “You have to sleep well every night and be satisfied that you’re doing a good job.”

The co-owners also strive to be part of the community, Mouli said. The restaurant frequently partners with the Hindu Temple of The Woodlands by catering food during public events, and the restaurant gave back to the community during Hurricane Harvey by delivering food to first responders and families in shelters, Mouli said.

“If I didn’t have this business, if I hadn’t met these people, we wouldn’t have had the opportunity to provide those services to the community,” Mouli said.

Bharat said that giving charity is a cornerstone of Indian culture.

“[In India] you donate money, you donate a fee for your education, you donate clothes, but food charity is something that people can say, ‘I’ve had enough,’” Bharat said. “You can donate as much money as you want and people will continue to take it, but food is the only charity you can do that can satisfy another person completely.”

Hyderabad House
407 Sawdust Road, The Woodlands
Hours: Mon.-Thu. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri. 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m., Sat. 9:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
By Kelly Schafler

Managing editor, South Houston

Kelly joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in June 2017 after majoring in print journalism and creative writing at the University of Houston. In March 2019, she transitioned to editor for the Lake Houston-Humble-Kingwood edition and began covering the Spring and Klein area as well in August 2020. In June 2021, Kelly was promoted to South Houston managing editor.