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Updated: April 28, 2013 00:17 IST

A taste of Arabia is now the rage

Shaima Mansoor
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An outlet at Mallepally does roaring business serving the shawarma. Also known as Arabian burger, it has fillings of both mutton and chicken. -Photo: Mohammed Yousuf
THE HINDU An outlet at Mallepally does roaring business serving the shawarma. Also known as Arabian burger, it has fillings of both mutton and chicken. -Photo: Mohammed Yousuf

Introduced to the city almost a decade ago, the shawarma, an Arabian sandwich wrap, is now drawing youngsters in droves to joints selling the delicacy

Move over Pizzas and Burgers! Shawarma is here. The Arabian delicacy, a sandwich wrap, seems to have captured the imagination of the city’s youth.

First introduced in Hyderabad by a restaurant named ‘Feel in Saudi’ at Aghapura almost a decade ago, Shawarma is now sold at many eateries across all over the city.

The shawarma is made with either chicken or lamb rolled onto pita bread or a chapatti, dressed with either mayonnaise or traditional Arab sauces such as tahini and hummus, along with chopped cucumber, onion, tomato, pickles and lettuce.

Gulf Cafeteria, near Masab Tank, is one of the city’s most popular joints for the shawarma. “We began with various dishes three years ago. But today, shawarmas are the ones we sell the most,” claims the owner.

“With approximately 140-160 shawarmas sold everyday, it has been a rage among youngsters for the past few years. We do have families that come to eat as well, but it is the youngsters that visit our cafeteria the most,” he adds.

Arabian Food and Nimrah restaurants at Tolichowki, Kababish Food Court at Nampally and Dine Hill at Masab Tank are some of the other well-known restaurants that serve shawarmas.

“Shawarma used to be my favourite dish in Dubai. I missed it a lot when I moved back to India, until my friends and I came across a restaurant that sold it,” says Nabeel Ahmed, an intermediate student.

However, he adds that restaurants here provide a substitute that doesn’t exactly taste like shawarmas in Arab countries. For Syed Naseer, a local resident, who tried out the shawarma with his family once, the delicacy is now regular fare.

“A cafeteria that I used to frequent introduced the dish a few years back. I had a sample and it was delicious. Nowadays, I stop there instead of the regular fast food joints and grab a shawarma,” he says.

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