Saturday, August 05, 2006

Hyderabadi food

Originally uploaded by wayfarer.

My inlaws are Hyderabadi, well my fil is from Luknow (spelling?) but we all know who wins who out when food is discussed. Hyderabadi food is the best food of India. Anyone who disagrees just doesn't know!

Anyhow, i get this email from my mil today, forwarded from her brother. They now sell Hyderabadi masala mixes at the Indian stores in like 5 states. Guess where is one? Yup, right here! I can't believe it's not available in NJ with so many desis there. I guess we have a lot here though too.

I don't like shan mixes much and prefer to do masalas on my own, i just may have to try some of these for "hamburger helper" nights. I don't consider shan mixes cooking....just like i don't consider hamburger helper cooking. You can disagree, but i don't. It just doesn't taste as good as true homemade food. Anyhow, check out this lovely (and true!) description of the Hyderabadi way of cooking (it's what i've been saying forever, food cooked with love tastes so much better than food just being made.) I have gone to houses for food where the love was obviously missing. I could feel it, it was just food. There's probably some hadith that says that food shouldn't be fussed over but just like i don't drive a camel to work, i don't follow all that's sunnah.

Here's the email (it's an ad for the masala mix):

Connoisseurs of food all over the world have had a special corner for Hyderabadi and Mughlai food. In Hyderabad 's 400 year history the Hyderabadi cuisine has, like its culture, stood high and unmatched by any other place in the Indian subcontinent. In fact, Hyderabad is known for the spectacular way its aristocracy entertained. The erstwhile rulers of Hyderabad were connoisseurs of food and insisted that their cooks lay out elaborate ten-course meals on a daily basis. The Hyderabadis do have rather unusual ways of seasoning their food. Hyderabadi cuisine is a distinct dialogue in food, based on the traditional method of combining the sour and the sweet, the hot and the salty.

Hyderabad has taken the highly developed and refined Mughal cuisine of the North and imbibed it with the zesty sauces and spices of the South to create a vast and seductive repertoire quite its own. Hyderabadi food, as it has come to be known, like the city's culture, heritage and language, is a melange of several influences--Hindu, Muslim, North, South, Indian and foreign. As they say here, food is best created with fursat and mohabbat--with time and love. Being devoted to Hyderabad means being devoted to food. Here, food is not just something to fill the stomach; it is the very essence of life. The quintessential Hyderabadi is known for his nawabi lifestyle--a gracious but rather laid-back way of life. But when it comes to food, the Hyderabadis won't tolerate any laziness and have very exacting standards

This is why my Little Dude eats so well...all of his food is prepared with love and time. My friends whose kids eat jarred food always ask me why he eats so well and is not at all picky and i believe this is why. What would you rather have - processed food or homemade food. Even something as simple as a hamburger is so much better made at home on the grill. I do think i'll give this mixes a go around though.

We called Pakistan for a Kashmiri tea recipe and i got his aunt's way of doing it. Yum! I'm so excited to finally make Baghare Baigan the Hyderabadi way this week. I'm also on a Nihari kick - it's like a serious craving once a week, you'd think i was pregnant or something.


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