Express news service
HYDERABAD: After shawarma and mandi, Middle Eastern desserts are making their way to Hyderabad. Until two years ago, these were only served in a few authentic restaurants in Kabul, Istanbul and Arabia. Now several restaurant chains in the city and even street joints have started selling Knafeh. The soft, cheesy and less sweet pastry, Knafeh or Kunafa, and the mithai-like mini Baklava pastry have gained popularity in the city. CE caters to restaurants and street joints exclusively selling these desserts, thanks to the growing demand.
âKunafa had been available for a very long time in Hyderabad, but was limited to very few places with a Middle Eastern influence, such as Barkas, and some families in other parts of the city,â says Zubair Ali, a restaurateur from the city. blogger.
For about two years now, a few places that serve authentic Middle Eastern specialties have also started selling Baklava. âNow there are individual stores dedicated to the sale of Baklava and Kunafa in the city. These delicacies have a local twist, with chefs experimenting with ingredients. We now have chocolate, Nutella, zafrani and extra cheese Kunafas. Even star hotels have started serving Baklava, âadds the food blogger.
All places that serve Mandi have started ditching Kunafa, including Mandi @ 36 in Jubilee Hills, Road No 36, Spice 6 in Banjara Hills, Road Number 12, and Azeebo in Madhapur. While in the old town, besides the Mandi joints, there are individual restaurants exclusively selling Middle Eastern desserts. For example, Captain Kunafa in Yerrakunta in Barkas, only serves Kunafa and Baklava. âMany home chefs also serve them on weekends at Barkas, because we have a language that devours Middle Eastern delicacies! Zubair adds.
Zohair Ahmed of Captain Kunafa says, âThere are many Mandi restaurants here and many Shawarma joints. I started this business last year and it is doing well. People on the other side of town, including Hitec City and even Secunderabad, who come to Barkas for Mandi, don’t leave without stopping for Kunafa. This is probably because we have a Persian influence in the various foods in our city.
Restaurants and dessert shops across the Middle East say these delicacies are in stiff competition with Indian sweets. âWe have seen an increase in sales during the holiday season. We ran out of stock during Dasara. We thought it was just a lucky day, but sales also exploded during Diwali, âsaid Shakeel Ahmed, one of the officials at Kunafa station in Tolichowki.
âI was surprised to see people ordering boxes of assorted Baklava online. Combos are preferred during Ramzan and Bakrid, for the past two years, even during Dasara and Diwali. We don’t experiment with ingredients to maintain authenticity, âsays a member of staff at Gourmet Baklava, Banjara Hills, Rd No. 3.
More foods arrive in Hyderabad
Madfoon: This Arabic meal is a combination of meat and rice. It has a mild earthy taste due to the spices used and the flavor of mutton cooked underground. The dish comes from Al Hudaydah, Yemen
Baba Ghanoush: This Levantine aperitif is composed of eggplant puree, various seasonings and sometimes tahini. This dish is available in a few restaurants in Barkas on weekends