The Good ol’ malai bun 

Niloufer street at Lakdikapul is known for its milky, sweet and invigorating Niloufer tea. It comes in both Irani and homemade styles, but never with extra malai.

Published: 09th October 2021 01:19 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th October 2021 09:11 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Niloufer street at Lakdikapul is known for its milky, sweet and invigorating Niloufer tea. It comes in both Irani and homemade styles, but never with extra malai. Not even if you are a patron. Well, where does all the malai go? To find out, you have to visit Cafe Niloufer before sunrise.  

At 3:30 am, Niloufer street is teeming with activity as chai lovers crowd the cafe not for tea but for the malai bun. Creamy, mild, a bit sweet and salty, the malai is dressed with a teaspoon of sugar (some prefer a tablespoon) and is served with a freshly-baked bun. Dunk a piece of the bun in the malai and let the rare combination knock you out of the park. 

“Malai bun used to be the breakfast for many until a decade ago at all the Irani chai cafes in Hyderabad. Now, not many cafes are serving it. To taste the best malai bun, one has to go either to Niloufer or Cafe Nimrah near Charminar,” says Zubair Ali, a city-based food blogger. While Cafe Nimrah serves the dish all day long, Niloufer does only till 5 am.

“We get around 150 litres of milk every day for tea. Milk, when heated, leaves behind a thick layer of malai. We collect this malai early in the morning and serve it with bun,” Babu Rao, the owner of Cafe Niloufer, says. “We serve bun maska all day long, but malai bun is only for a few hours. There are days when it gets polished in 30 minutes,” he adds.

Replaced by samosas, poori-sabzi
Malai  bun used to be the breakfast for many until a decade ago at all the Irani chai cafes in Hyderabad. Now, not many cafes are serving it. This heavenly wholesome breakfast has been replaced by samosas, poori-sabzi and bun maska. To taste the best malai  bun, one has to go either to Niloufer Cafe at Lakdikapul or Cafe Nimrah near Charminar. There are a few other Irani cafes in the Old City that still serve the dish, but nothing to beat the aforementioned joints



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