On moon-like cookies and ‘hearty-is-happy’ delicacies

V Rishi Kumar Hyderabad | Updated on January 16, 2018 Published on October 07, 2016


A book that captures the legacy of Hyderabad’s bakeries

There is something nice and nostalgic about bakeries in Hyderabad, known for its history, heritage, Nizami culture, cuisine and laidback lifestyle.

A number of popular bakery items, such as the Osmania biscuit, chaand biscuit and dilkhush, have come down the ages and evolved with the Nizami culture and social milieu.

In fact, the Osmania biscuit, a popular snack with a steaming cup of tea, was a favourite of one of the Nizams, says Sandhya Balakrishna, who has authored a book titled The Bakeries of Hyderabad.

“I used to regularly visit bakeries during my childhood decades ago and have taken my children to them occasionally. But my worry lately is whether they will survive and continue to be the social hubs that they were before,” she says. This triggered her to write a book on Hyderabad bakeries and their products.

The Bakeries of Hyderabad was launched on Thursday at Crosswords in Inorbit Mall here by Prince Shahamat Jah Nawab.

The Osmania biscuit has its origins at Vicaji Bakery in Abids, Hyderabad’s oldest commercial hub. The bakery’s owner was the personal baker to the Nizam and named the biscuit after Nizam Osman.

The chaand biscuit derives its name from its crescent moon-like shape. Dilkhush, which translates into “heart is happy”, consists of a soft bun stuffed with grated coconut, tutti fruity, raisins, cashew nuts and cream — enough to make the eater ecstatic.

The book has finer details on baking and the problems that crop up during the process.

The city’s bakeries have been witness to the vibrant mix and endless surprises that the city offers. They have been significant contributors to the economy, habits, rituals and the social fabric of the city.

“This book is an attempt to chronicle the DNA of these bakeries and also narrate their unique stories and homegrown strategies. The humble Hyderabad bakery has evolved into guardians of an exclusive legacy,” says the author.

The book is published by The Write Place Publishing House.

Published on October 07, 2016
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