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Updated: May 13, 2013 01:16 IST

19th century Nizami cuisine to make a comeback

J. S. Ifthekhar
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Come Ramzan and the Siasat daily plans to publish a list of 680 formulae used by the royal kitchenette of the 6 Nizam, Mir Mahboob Ali Khan

The world knows them for fabulous jewels and splendid palaces. But not many know that the erstwhile Hyderabad rulers had a weakness for a rich diet as well.

Sample this: Biryani Dulhan, Yeqni Palou Shirazi, Khorma Murgh, Qhalia Chamkura, Kabab Gul Khatai. A ‘shahi’ spread any which way. If your mouth is doing a tango, you are not to be blamed.

Now, one can try out these dishes. Urdu daily Siasat has stumbled upon a dog-eared copy containing a list of 680 formulae used by the royal kitchenette of the 6 Nizam, Mir Mahboob Ali Khan (1866 – 1911). The newspaper plans to publish the recipes in Urdu and English on art paper shortly.

The book, titled Matbaqe Asafia, is expected to hit the market in the next two months.

“It will be in time for Ramzan, the month of fasting,” Siasat’s Editor Zahed Ali Khan says.

Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are. A look at the recipes and the ingredients that go into making these sumptuous dishes give an inkling of the royal taste — cuisine that is never clichéd. Every formula differs from the other in the set of instructions and ingredients.

The ‘Khwan Nemat-e-Asafia’ lists 15 different types of biryanis such as Biryani Rumi, Biryani Mahboobi, Biryani Nargis, Biryani Hazar Afreen. As the name suggests, the ‘Dulhan Biryani’ is highly decorated with a fried banana in covering of ‘warq’ (silver foil).

Besides, there are 18 kinds of pulav, 16 of khichidi, 48 of do-pyaza, 21 variants of khorma, 45 of kabab and 29 types of naan. Besides, there are 25 varieties of chutneys (condiments) and 33 types of achaar. Apart from an assortment of spices and dry fruits, the ingredients also include a generous sprinkle of perfumes and sandal.

Piece of advice

But some of the formulas could be a recipe for sickness, given the heavy doze of ‘pure ghee’ suggested. There are also some recipes, which, if tried now could land one in trouble. For instance, the book contains formulas for cooking animals which now attract provisions of the Wildlife Act.

“But we don’t propose to include such recipes since they are banned now”, Mr. Khan says.

So gourmets, get ready for a royal repast.

More In: Hyderabad

Good news. Please dedicate a column in your daily and publish these
recipes , so that the NRI's can also get benefit of this great work by
Mr. Zahid Ali Khan.

from:  Engineer Shareef
Posted on: May 13, 2013 at 12:09 IST
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