The princely state of Hyderabad Deccan could not become a part of Pakistan in 1947 but its Indo-Arabian cuisines have made inroads into the country’s culinary delights. And for that reason the credit goes to the denizens of a locality established opposite the Central Jail.
Welcome to Karachi’s little Hyderabad, where the faithful come for a hearty Iftar and are induced to stay on for dinner. “For many years we have been coming here for Iftar and dinner,” remarked Dr Ali whose family was sitting in his car.
And Dr Ali is not alone. It has become a ritual for many to visit Hyderabad Colony’s unofficial food court, opposite the Central Jail, during Ramazan. You need to be there before Asr prayers to witness people dropping by to grab delicacies of their choice, on their way to different parts of the city from work.more
From Hyderabadi Dahi Bare to Samosa or what they call Luqmian, you can get Khoobani Ka Meetha, Meethi Puri, Double Ka Meetha, Hyderabadi Biryani, Harees, Chakna, steamed Kebab, roasted Aubergines, the list is endless. You’ll be overwhelmed with the variety of chutneys and pickles available out there.
Kaleem Shah’s story for being the proprietor of Hyderabad Colony’s first outlet called Chutkharey House is a success story by all means. “We started our outlet in 1964 with an 8×8 showcase and now by the grace of Allah we are running the 30×30 shop,” he maintained. “We also export our products, specially pickles and Chutneys,” he mentioned.
People from North Nazimabad to North Karachi and Gulshan-e-Iqbal to Gulistan-e-Jauhar specially come to Hyderabad Colony during Ramazan for one particular delicacy called Harees, which appears in a spitting image of Haleem but tastes quite different in mouth.
“Since Arabs were in Hyderabad Deccan’s army, they brought their own flavors to the Hyderabadi dastarkhwan and Harees was one of them,” Kaleem Shah wised up. “It used to be very insipid in taste but given added spices experimented with beef and chicken makes it an authentic Hyderabadi tarka.”
You can find people flocking to one shop outside the mosque for a special dish called Chakna, which was introduced by late Mohammad Idrees. “It is basically composed of goat’s entrails, its legs and head,” his son Afsar explained while packing orders. “We start preparing it at four in the morning to get it done by two in the afternoon.”
The second generation of New Deccan jewelers could not resist the temptation of venturing into the food business of their ancestral origin. “We successfully expanded our father’s jewelery business in 1996 on the same street by establishing Deccan Zaiqa House with a capital of Rs. 10,000,” Waqar Ahmed recalled. “And it does well throughout the year.”
This food court has actually turned this area into a cultural pocket besides identifying the presence of Hyderabadi migrants in the city. When jewelers begin to invest in the food ined to thrive.