HYDERABAD: As you walk in the street in Purani Haveli, you are assailed with the aroma of freshly baked Naan selling like hot cakes in the area of Dabeerpura. Interestingly the area of Purani Haveli was once known as Purani Khadeem previously.
Set amidst the dime a dozen shops here selling steaming hot naans is a decades old establishment is the Khadeem’s Munshi Naan. The story behind the shop goes that the owner Khaja Mohammad Hussain used to serve as Munshi to the fourth Nizam Nasir-Ul-Duala. After he left the service due to some unknown reason, he decided to start a shop with a recipe he came across in Delhi.
“He got the recipe from Delhi and set up a shop here in 1851. Since he happened to be the munshi to the Nizam, the Naan came to be known as Munshi Naan,” recalls owner Khaja Abdul Hameed, the great grandson of Hussain. As you ask him about the recipe, he warms up to the subject and describes in detail how they make the square Naan which is so popular with residents with some even coming from far off places just for the Char Koni Naan.
A worker in the meantime is busy making doughs of the Naan as another places them in a hot tandoor underground. Another takes it out with the help of a curved stick.
“We mix curd with maida and let it sit overnight. The mixture is then cooked in a tandoor. This is the way it was done back then and we still stick to it. The result is a very soft bread due to the curd. It doesn’t get hard that quickly. Now there is yeast available in the market which others use to quicken the process of making the Naan,” elaborates Abdul who has 10 labourers working under him.
The Char Koni Naan remains popular as it is easy to tear into pieces, but the Naan does come in other shapes like round, oval and heart-shape or pan shape. The heart shape is very popular in functions like weddings. “The best part about the Naan is that as it’s plain, you can pair it with anything you want. During functions, people like to serve it with dry chicken, some like to eat with Nihaari (chicken broth). In afternoons, you will often find people eating it with Chakna (stew of goat tripe),” shares Abdul.
The shop opens early in the day at 7 am and prepares all varieties of the Naan which will be sold throughout the day until 10:30 pm. Besides Munshi, Abbasi Naan is also a hundred year old establishment.
Location: Dabeerpura X road, Purani Haveli, Old City. Open from 9 am to 11: 30 am in the morning and 6 pm to 8: 30 pm in the evening. Contact: 040 2441 6258