Champaran mutton makes waves in Hyderabad at Amba Bhavani Hotel

The dish, traditionally marinated with mustard oil and ghee, has been adapted with local ingredients for Hyderabadi palates.
Amba Bhavani Hotel in Hyderabad.
Amba Bhavani Hotel in Hyderabad.Photo | M Vidya Charan Reddy

HYDERABAD : Champaran, a place in Bihar, is well-known for its historical significance as the starting point of Mahatma Gandhi’s Satyagraha movement. However, this place is also renowned for its famous dish, Champaran meat. This lip-smacking dish, also known as Ahuna or Handi meat, is believed to have originated on the Indo-Nepal border before making its way to Champaran. Gradually, it has spread to many parts of India under the name Champaran meat.

This famous dish is now available on the streets of Hyderabad. Just 500m away from the Kukatpally Housing Board Colony metro station, Amba Bhavani Hotel serves this specially made Champaran—flavoured mutton dish, which has become a favourite among food lovers in the city. As you enter the hotel, the spicy aroma of Champaran mutton hits your nose. The ambiance might not be top-notch, but the food and special dishes they serve are highly acclaimed.

Speaking to CE, Dattathreya, owner, said, “For the last three years, I have been serving Champaran—flavoured dishes in my hotel. Champaran Mutton Curry, Champaran Chicken, and Champaran Naatu Kodi Pulusu are specially made dishes here. All these items are cooked slowly over charcoal in sealed pots, with only 1 kg of meat cooked in one pot. Most of the customers who visit my hotel prefer to eat Champaran mutton Curry,” adding, “In the Bihari style of cooking, mustard oil and ghee are added while marinating the mutton, but here in Hyderabad, a few changes are made. The ingredients used for marinating the dish include green chilies, onions, freshly ground spices, coriander powder, crushed ginger-garlic, turmeric, bay leaves, cloves, red chili powder, and specially made masalas that give a spicy taste to the dish. Our chefs avoid using mustard oil and ghee here in Hyderabad. Marination is key to this special dish, so the process takes a long time. The marinated mutton is kept aside for two to three hours so that the flavour of the ingredients sticks to the meat. The meat is cooked in front of the customers and served, which is why the customer has to wait at least one hour to have this special dish. The same procedure is applied to Champaran Chicken and Champaran Naatu Kodi Pulusu as well. Once cooked, it can be served with rice or roti in Bihar. But in Hyderabad, we are only serving the special meat with rice.”

Champaran mutton at Amba Bhavani Hotel in Hyderabad.
Champaran mutton at Amba Bhavani Hotel in Hyderabad.Photo | M Vidya Charan Reddy

The idea of making Handi meat in Hyderabadi style came to Dattathreya when he visited Bihar with his friends. He saw Champaran mutton being cooked in earthen pots over charcoal and was fascinated by that traditional method. Having studied hotel management and owned a hotel in Hyderabad, he learned to cook Champaran mutton within two days. Later, he recruited some chefs and trained them to cook Champaran Handi meat in Hyderabadi style.

For non-veg lovers in the city, this specially made Champaran—flavoured mutton dish is a must—try. First, Bhagara rice is served on a banana leaf on your plate. Then, the specially made dish is served according to your preference. The rice doesn’t have the masalas like Hyderabadi biryani rice, but the Champaran-style curry is quite spicy. After having the meal, you’ll likely want more...

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