Culture · Daily Life · Events · Food · Heritage · Monument · People · Street · vendors

Ramzan nights (around Charminar)

To describe the Ramzan experience around Charminar as a sensory overload would be an understatement. There is so much to see, feel, hear, smell , eat or even buy and take delight in. The experience might even leave you wiser in consumer behaviour too and render you incapable of bargaining because you are after all a “king” !

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All you need to make Sheer-Korma (apart from milk and sugar)
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The gentlemen around the shop assured everyone passing by that they would find the most fashionable designs here
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The only time I might be seen amidst so much bling!
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Daawat-e-Iftaar – when the fast is broken and the entire community eats together

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Makkah masjid 1
Iftar at the Makkah Masjid
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If you started out in the hope of a good bargain – he will certainly not entertain you!
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Still trying to figure out what pendel would mean.
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And the shopping and feasting continue into the night

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Daily Life · Food

Hyderabad’s favourite timepass – irani chai, biscoot aur gupshap

I have always been wary of walking into an Irani Cafe, a woman in such a place would stick out like a sore thumb. And not really a tea drinker myself(thanks to the lactose intolerance), I wondered why I would bother going to one.

I had heard good things about the chai as well as the osmani biscuits at the Nimrah cafe near Charminar, but was warned not to go there alone or as a ladies-only group. I had wrapped up a meeting in the part of town very quickly and had some time on hand. Perhaps it was the right time to check out the most celebrated teatime fare of the city. There was the usual crowd but being the month of Ramazan, I would guess it was on the lesser side.

I took a place outside, and as one is bound to in such a place, began to observe the people, the life, the haste as well as the leisure all right in front of the iconic monument of the city. The waiters seemed to take no notice of my presence and for some reason it did not bother me. I decided to take out my camera to take a few shots and reckoned it was always better to ask for permission to avoid a round of questions or angering anyone around. It seemed like the manager was in a good mood, when I told him that I was keen on documenting things that were essentially Hyderabadi, he insisted I start clicking only after I had my cuppa and some biscuits(on the house). This wasn’t the reception I expected, moreover it also served to mock my initial apprehensions. He looked disappointed when I told him of my allergy and agreed to let me carry on with my work.

Once I was done, I went to say thank you, and he handed me a box of osmani biscuits, “Do visit us again!”

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Daily Life · Food · People · Street · vendors

Pulling the strings

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Its festive time with Id-ul-Fitr less than two weeks away. The main preparation for the festival is Sheer Korma and the primary ingredient is the vermiclli. The three brothers live together and engage themselves in making them. With their deft fingers they work the magic and in a matter of minutes they convert a lump of well kneaded dough into strings and leave them to dry. After about 5-7 minutes, a handful of these strings are then rolled and arranged into a swirl to be sold later.

Read more about the brothers and their trade here

Excerpt from wiki: – Sheer khorma or Sheer khurma (شيرخرما, literally “milk with dates” in Urdu) is a festival vermicelli pudding prepared by Muslims onEid ul-Fitr in Pakistan,India and Bangladesh. It is a traditional Muslim festive breakfast, and a dessert for celebrations. Sheer (شير), isPersian for milk and khurma(خرما) is Persian for dates. This dish is made from dried dates.

This special dish is served on the morning of Eid day in the family after the Eid prayer as breakfast, and throughout the day to all the visiting guests.

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Daily Life · Food · People · Street · Urban · vendors

Fresh water fish fried and sold as a delicious treat on the streets. The arrangement of the food is usually very important for the business

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Daily Life · Food · Street

Its always interesting to see rumali roties being made. Always wondered how these road side chefs manage to toss it in the air after rolling and make it look so easy. I don’t want to imagine what my kitchen would look like if I ever attempted making them. 🙂

[text from wiki]
Rumali Roti is a thin bread from the northern part of India and Pakistan and a traditional element in Mughlai cuisine. The word rumal means handkerchief in Urdu and Hindi, and the name rumali roti means handkerchief bread. The bread is extremely thin and supple, and the fact that it is usually served folded like a handkerchief are the probable sources of the name. During the Mughal period, the roti was used like a cloth to wipe off the excess oil off the hands after the completion of an oil-rich food laden with meat and fat. The rumali roti also occupied a unique place in the emblem of the royalty of Oudh under the control of Mughals.
The bread is usually made with a combination of whole and white wheat flours (atta and maida respectively) and best cooked on top of an inverted Indian griddle (kadhai).

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Culture · Food · People · portrait · Street

Grilled Delights!

Of the immensely popular street food on the streets of old city Hyderabad, the kebabs deserve a special mention.

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