Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Bred in Hyderabad

This is about bread or rather baked goodies in Hyderabad. All those who know me well, know of my love for bread and most things baked. The aroma of freshly baked bread is out of the world. We had this well known bakery called Karachi Bakery in Hyderabad. We took this route when we had our classes at the main University building. Even if we were deeply engrossed in a book or our chatter the wonderful smell wafting from the bakery would hit us at least a couple of minutes before our bus went past the store.
Bread, when we were children did not come sliced. We had this contraption that we used -to slice the bread. It had to be carefully fixed by a big screw on the edge of the table and then slicing had to be carried out with utmost care and not when the bread was too warm. There was also this gentleman who would come with a huge steel trunk on his head which contained a variety of biscuits. The tea biscuit, the ginger biscuit ( which has almost disappeared from the bakeries here) and puffs.

Hyderabad is well known for the Osmania biscuit ( a delicious sweet and salty cookie) and the Chand biscuit ( so called since it has the shape of the chand - or the moon in its crescent stage). The fruit biscuits of Hyderabad are famous. We also have an interesting variety of buns. The famous kulcha which is the flat bread carries an interesting legend. On one of his journeys to the Deccan, Mir Qamruddin (general of Aurangazeb) is said to have lost his way in a jungle. Tired and hungry he met a saint who offered him kulcha and water. Inspite of the saint's insistence it is
said that he could eat no more than 7 kulchas, and the saint blessed him saying that his dynasty would rule for 7 generations ( the Asif Jahi dynasty).

The old bakeries are far and few and have given way to newer and more modern ones. We also have some upmarket ones where the bread costs the earth. Right now with the kids away I am the only bread eater at home which probably accounts for the increase in weight that I have noticed and confirmed by the weighing scale.
I guess I am just well-bred.

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