Purani Haveli's known to be the place or origin of the square or char koni naan in Hyderabad. The place gets its name from the Haveli which was built for the Nizam of Hyderabad Sikander Jah III. It's located in the Old City of Hyderabad, which is a little further away from Charminar.The area was known as Haveli Khadeem in earlier days. Over the years, the area around the Haveli also got the name Purani Haveli. It has some fantastic food options and showcases some of the best Muslim food in Hyderabad. But this area is also a little less well-to-do in comparison to the traditional affluent business areas of Charminar, Laad Bazaar and surrounding areas. Hence, the emphasis is more on cheaper food options like beef over mutton (goat). The food in Purani Haveli is also priced much lower than that which is available in the more affluent and well-known-touristy-areas of Charminar, Gulzar House, etc.The Hyderabadi naan, popularly known as 'Char koni naan' or 'Naan ki roti', is known to have originated in Purani Haveli. On both sides of the road, you'll find an array of these naan shops selling just bread and nothing else. It's just so heartening to see these old traditions still being maintained in Hyderabad and not getting diluted or fizzled out.
The 163-Year-Old Munshi Naan
The pan shape's used made for weddings. Mainly as an accompaniment to Marag, the Hyderabadi stew of mutton on the bone flavoured with yoghurt, coconut and almond. The Hyderabadi naan is made from maida, oil and water and the original recipe is not supposed to use yeast. Also, the bread is supposed to be 'proved' overnight. Proving refers to a specific rest period that allows the rising of the dough. It happens just prior to baking. Nowadays, I think almost everyone uses yeast to quicken the process. The 'proven' bread is then cooked in an underground tandoor or clay oven. The Star shaped naan is probably the least popular and is bought only for special functions at home like birthdays and for special guests.
The qualities of Hyderabadi naan are very specific. Naram or soft on the inside and crisp on the outside. It's also thick, yet not too dense. It's not too light or fluffy either. But more importantly, it needs to be warm. Cold naan has no place in Hyderabadi culture. Unlike the regular breads coming out of a tandoor, the Hyderabadi naan stays warm for a longer period.Abbasi Naan is another old naan shop close by that's more than a hundred years old. The other naan shops in Purani Haveli are relatively newer compared to Munshi 'n Abbasi. Nevertheless, most of them would be at least 30-40 years old. Now....Now.....That's not too young either.Address - Munshi Naan, Dabeer Pura Cross Road, Purani Haveli, Old City, Hyderabad.
About The Author: Chowder Singh started blogging in November 2011 on Indian street food, small restaurants and hole-in-the-wall kind of places that in spite of producing brilliant quality food, are largely unrecognised outside of their localities. He believes that these are the real heroes of Indian food, who have been consistently putting out their family recipes over many years and now will hopefully get more recognition for the superb work that they've been doing.Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. NDTV is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information on this article. All information is provided on an as-is basis. The information, facts or opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NDTV and NDTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.