AS one travels across India one finds out that the Indian cuisine is as diverse as the states of the nation. And it is no wonder that food is heavily influenced by the people, spices and herbs that have ruled the palates of these people over centuries. The stark difference in tastes and variety is largely due to the mode of preparation and the varied use of spices.
Hyderabad cuisine, generally believed to be a princely legacy of the Nizams, is seemingly a blend of Awadhi, Moghlai and tandoori laced with spices and herbs native to the areas surrounding the southern city. There is also an emphasis of coconut and tamarind, used generously in south Indian food, in its cuisine.
This makes the Hyderabadi fare distinct and of aromatic taste due to the use of ingredients attentively chosen and cooked to the right degree and time as well as the use of a specific herb, spice, condiment, or combination of all. It is no wonder then with a bustling Hyderabadi community in Jeddah, that the taste of Hyderabad is alive and thriving in a lively corner of Aziziya for the last 25 years.
Esa bin Ayaz, the restaurant manager said: “Shadab restaurant, which started more than two decades back, caters to the large Hyderabadi expat population in Jeddah. To start a business is easy, but sustaining it is the difficult part. My secret is simple, provide good food and quality service. And this has stood me good stead”.
“We use traditional utensils and cook the Hyderabadi way — patiently, for slow-cooking is the Hyderabadi cuisine hallmark like the method of ‘Dum’ where the layered rice, meat and spices are cooked on slow fire and today our kitchen provides biryanis and other fares to other eateries in the city” he said.
Shadab offers daily special dishes in lunch and dinner along with the variety of chicken and mutton delicacies and kebabs, biryanis and the patented khatti dal (lentils in tamarind juice), Dum ka Bakra, as well as some distinctive Hyderabadi dishes — both in the main course and desserts. The Raan Biryani, Haleem (seasonal delicacy of wheat & meat, cooked to a porridge-like paste), Marag, Chicken 65, Dum Ka Chucken are Shadab’s signature dishes, as are its desserts ‘gajjar ka halwa’ (carrot halwa), ‘double ka meeta’ (made from toasted bread in ghee) and ‘qubani’ (mashed dried apricot in cream).
Esa said that: “We have also started 3 years back the sale of Hyderabad’s famous Masqati pure ghee made of buffalo milk prepared from Hyderabad, and today are the sole distributors for it.” These are available in different sizes i.e. 1kg, 500gm, 200gm and 5kg.
“We have been participating regularly in the food festival conducted by the Consulate General of India in association with Saudi Indian Business Network, as well the Indian food festival at Deewaniya Al Muhaidib where we have received the certificate of appreciation for our services and taste,” he added.