Into the City

Head to Hameedi Con­fec­tion­ers, a hun­dred year old sweet shop in the old city, to treat your­self to the Nizam’s favourite dessert.

India Today - - INSIDE - _ By Mona Ra­ma­vat

Treat your­self to the Nizam’s favourite dessert at this hun­dred year old sweet shop.

Over­look­ing the stately Moz­zam Jahi Mar­ket is a small sweet shop that can eas­ily go un­no­ticed but for its neon sign board that says Hameedi Con­fec­tion­ers. About a hun­dred and five years ago, there was no mar­ket and this was the only sweet shop around, un­named then. It still is the only shop in the city that sells two lesser-known trea­sures of Hy­der­abadi cui­sine—the Ashrafi, a thick disc shaped sweet bear­ing the im­print of the Nizams’ old cur­rency and Jouzi Halwa, which is sup­posed to have been the favourite dessert of the last rul­ing Nizam of Hy­der­abad, Mir Os­man Ali Khan.

Mo­ham­mad Anees Ul Hus­sain, 38, in­vites us in to sam­ple the halwa, which is made of soaked jau (bar­ley grain), milk, ghee, sugar, saf­fron and their se­cret in­gre­di­ent, a dry fruit im­ported from Afghanistan. His great grand­fa­ther had mi­grated from Turkey and brought with him the recipe of Jouzi Halwa. Hus­sain’s grand­fa­ther set up the shop and the recipe has re­mained un­changed ever since. Con­trary to the story that the shop was named af­ter the Nizam’s son, Hus­sain says, “The last king of Turkey, Prince Ab­dul Hameed’s two daugh­ters were mar­ried to the Nizam’s sons. The Nizam sent over an of­fi­cial let­ter an­nounc­ing that the shop be named af­ter his samdhi.” A poster ver­sion of the let­ter still finds a place of pride on a wall in the shop, which all those years ago did not have a con­crete struc­ture. “It was set up around a date tree with a thatched roof and tra­di­tional lan­terns for light. The Nizam hap­pened to walk past the shop one day and sam­pled the Jouzi Halwa. Af­ter that, he or­dered for it to be sup­plied to his palace ev­ery day.” The de­li­cious Jouzi Halwa is not sim­ply a dessert but makes for a healthy add-on to the diet as well. “Have a small por­tion with milk and it will help build mus­cle strength,” ad­vises Hus­sain.

While the recipe is a se­cret, it can­not be hid­den from the work­ers in the shop. “But the same taste can­not be repli­cated any­where,” says Hus­sain, shar­ing that his grand­fa­ther was told by a seer that Jouzi Halwa will bring them fame and pros­per­ity for sev­eral gen­er­a­tions. He hopes that one of his sons will take the legacy for­ward.

The Nizam sam­pled the Jouzi Halwa and af­ter that, he or­dered for it to be sup­plied to his palace ev­ery day

Pho­to­graphs by KR­ISH­NENDU HALDER

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.