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Munshi Naan is a Favorite With the Poor and the Well-heeled
The naan shop was originally started by Mohammed Hussain Saheb, who, according to his kin, used to work as a clerk in the offices of the fourth Nizam of Hyd.
G
Guru Prasad
Hyderabad
Tue Feb 22 2022
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Munshi Naan is a Favorite With the Poor and the Well-heeled
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As one enters the neighborhood of Purani Haveli, one familiar smell wafts through the air. One can notice tandoors or earthen ovens with naans in them. And in the labyrinth lanes of Purani Haveli, there are dozens of naan or flatbread shops. But Khadeem Munshi naan shop located in the densely populated Purani Haveli in the old city is a legacy and has been serving flatbread since 1851.


The naan shop was originally started by Mohammed Hussain Saheb, who, according to his kin, used to work as a clerk in the offices of the fourth Nizam of Hyderabad, Nasir-ud-Dowla. Munshi learned the recipe of naan during a trip to Delhi and started making it in Hyderabad.


Today, his great-grandson is managing the shop and narrates that Munshi used to work at an office in the morning and sell naan in the evenings. He apparently sold in bulk to common people and also supplied to the Nizam. However, when the demand swelled, Munshi resigned from the job and looked after his shop full-time.


His great-grandson shares that it used to be a poor man’s breakfast during those times. Today, he sells 1500 pieces in a day. And the recipe used has been followed for generations. Maida, cardamom, il, salt, and curd are used for the fluffy naans. They are smeared with jaggery before being put into the tandoor, which is made of clay and topped with concrete or mud on the outside. The batter is hung in a cloth for at least 12 hours and retrieved in the morning.


The naans at Munshi’s come in various shapes such as stars, circles, and hearts. But through the years, the char Koni naan, a square-shaped variety, has been highly in demand with their loyal customers. Incidentally, the tech-savvy generation of today from different parts of the city is also increasingly coming to the quaint shop looking for naans.


The shop has an old-world charm with a verandah in front, and one can have the naans there. Totally soft, they can be paired with milk or chai or, of course, paya, nihari, and kebabs. Each piece goes for Rs 15, and bulk orders can be placed for weddings and functions.


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Munshi Naan is a Favorite With the Poor and the Well-heeled
Munshi Naan is a Favorite With the Poor and the Well-heeled
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