There are many things that are old and dated in Hyderabad. But do you know that the city is also home to a 101-year-old sweet shop?
Hameedi Confectionary, located in the busy streets of Mozamjahi market, is as authentic as it gets. Started by Mohammed Hussain when he was just a wee lad of 15 years, the shop shares its Turkish flavour with the Turkish lineage of its owner. For Hussain, starting the shop was his way of venturing into a business, informs Mazhar, Hussain’s grand son who now takes care of the shop.
“It was complete jungle when my grand father started it and was present in the corner on a naturally formed road with out any name. This was in fact one of the first sweet shops set up in the city during the Nizam’s rule,” beams the 55-year-old.
So how did the shop come to be called Hameedi Confectionaries?
“Of Turkish origin, my grand father’s sweets had strong Turkish flavours. One of his preparations was the Jauzi Halwa made from Nutmeg.” A delicacy in those days, the new of the Nutmeg halwa soon spread. “The information reached the Nizam who visited the store to taste the sweet and was very impressed. He passed an order of naming the store after one of his son’s nicknames,” informs Mazhar, pointing to a framed document hung on the wall for all patrons to see – the official decree signed by the Nizam himself.
Besides the Jauzi Halwa, Hameedi Confectionary also dishes out mouthwatering Hyderabadi delicacies. “There are so many other sweets like Ashrafi which any traditional Hyderabadi would love to experience. This sweet is yellow, the royal colour of the Nizam’s and is also one of the specialities of Hameedi Confectionaries,” says Mazhar.
What makes Mazhar happy is the fact that his customers compliment him on the taste being the same as ever. “We will continue to sell traditional Hyderabadi sweets as we do not want our traditional specialities to be taken over by the introduction of new dishes and ‘English’ desserts.”
Among their offerings are other preparations like Puranpuli, Bunahuva peda, Halwa Soantikiya and Laddoos. However, the Jauzi Halwa is till date their most famous sweet. Quiz Mazhar about the ingredients and he more than happily shares the recipe, quite unlike other confectioners who hide behind the excuse of ‘trade secret’. “The ingredients for the Jauzi halwa include milk, ghee, sugar, saffron and jauzi. They are cooked together for about eight-nine hours while constantly stirring and what remains is the halwa,” he shares. Mazhar’s confidence though probably stems from his loyal clientele. For those who have never been, there’s only one way to find out if the halwa was really such a royal treat.