Saturday, February 22, 2014

For the love of "Food"

Indians are great eaters and great fighters and their most favorite fight is their fight for food. With so many states and endless cuisines every one has their favorite cuisine and unique customizations.  Our love for food continues through out the year and the festivals which mark the calendar every month , the wedding season which is an integral part of our lives, a baby shower , a fun-fair, a house warming or this or that, every event just strengthens our food-bond.We worry about weight and take the new-year resolution to lose weight only to break it later on in the year when festive season starts  :- ) :- ). Jokes apart, the first and the foremost thing which people in India miss when they move to abroad is the food here.

The food love of people can be seen on the facebook. Come the dawn of any day you can see too many food pics on your facebook news feed. Some times I wonder if I can dig in to the "feed/ food" with a spoon and fork and relish but sadly I can only watch the wide range of foods mercilessly shared on my wall ! The prompt this week on project 365- "Seconds" lead to my status update last sunday where I had a funny discussion with the authors of project - 365 - Sid and Sakshi :) The status goes like below.

"Going through the news-FEED as and when I woke up confused me. I felt I was reading animated online Menus of restaurants all over the world There are so many cuisines explained on my wall, that I can actually get a plate and spoon and dig in to the news-food I mean the feed ! Definitely the first and last love of most of the FB junta is food (whether it is tasty or not is an open que ). Today my Faacebook looks like Food-book. From healthy to greasy to greeny - I have all kind of foods on my wall. This gives me an idea for the next theme Sakshi Nanda and Sid Balachandran  "

I did not post this to make all others admit their guilt. I posted this as I was amused to see the food love of FB junta. From morning till evening the only bond which never fades is the food bond. A person may leave your side but food will never leave your side. It will be your honest companion for ever ! Some call the artistic way of presenting food as food porn , but not all presentations generate that tantalizing feeling on our taste buds. Some clicks are not at all appetizing. You can actually hear the echoing burps from those half emptied plates and utensils. Presenting food is also a great art which only few master at. You should be an excellent photographer too if you want to make your food look good. Sigh! Too many good cooks fail in this aspect as they don't have the presentation skills!

Anyway before I lose the track, I want to get back to the subject of the matter ->which is food ;) . This status update triggered my thoughts and I finally had enough food for my post this week :) . The word "Seconds" made me all dreamy as all my favorite foods got projected in my mind's eye. Which food should I choose and explain in detail? If I chose the aromatic Chicken Biryani my mom cooks, the haleem made by my dear husband will definitely feel bad as they both win the race when it comes to teasing your taste buds. If I chose my favorite naturals ice cream with all the fruit flavours, the eclairs cake made by mom will get angry and stop melting in my mouth like it always does. What about that Bombay chat bhandaar, that yummy Kareem's kebab, the unforgettable Hyderabadi double ka meetha, the mouth watering gol gappe, the hot MTR's idli sambaar in Bangalore, Rasgolla of Kolkata and so on so forth.

I already have a tickling feeling on my taste buds. Before I get attacked by the imaginary aromas let me list down my mom's cuisines which deserve not just the second but third , fourth and "n" number of servings. We had a small festival at home the same day I updated the status message above. I thought of updating the pics on FB but on a second thought I decided to share them in this blog post. The occasion was the gyarmi ka Fateha or Gyarveen which is celebrated in the memory of  Abdul Khader Jilaani  a Persian Islamic preacher who is highly esteemed by Sunni scholars! Most of them in South India celebrate this, distribute food among poor and invite friends/ relatives to the feast!

Every celebration is just an excuse to eat in India! Even if we are diet conscious some times it is extremely tough to resist our love for food. The below are the food items made by mom on the festive day.

  • Mutton Biryani
  • Chicken Shorba (gravy) - Yummilicious of all
  • Dal-cha (Hyderabadi delicacy)
  • Bhaaji and Raaita
  • Zarda (a simple sweet dish made with rice)

 The Hyderabadi mutton/ chicken dum biryani is to die for but it is no match when compared to mutton  biryani made by my mamma. The fragrance of biryani reaches the garage from the 7th floor where we stay!
Mutton Biryani made on Gyarmi
This is a file photo . Biryani made on my bday. A ladle of this Biryani is enough to take you till the gates of heaven. I can vouch for it and my apologies to the hardcore vegetarians
Dal-cha is an authentic Hyderabadi cuisine. It is made with various kind of dals and choicest spices . The aroma will make you crave for it. Below video shows an easy to make Dal cha recipe.

Chicken gravy made my mom is extremely delicious. We even have chicken shorba soup with pepper before having the main course . Trust me it is the chicken soup for soul , heart , mind , brain and every thing. It energizes me and  is a best cure for the common cold and many other ailments. Below is the snap shot of yummy Chicken Shorba (We call it sherva in south) . If you are a non vegetarian you should taste shorba atleast once in life! This link has 16 different recipes of Chicken Shorba - just check -  Chicken Shorba recipes
Yummy chicken Shorba
Raaita is a delicious gravy and we all (Indians)  are very much aware of it. Curd is well beaten and spiced up with onions , harimirch (green chilli) , Kothimeer (coriander) and salt as per the quantity. This is very tasty and goes well with Hyderabadi biryani!
Raita made at home
Zarda is a sweet dish made with rice. You can find a detailed recipe here. It is topped with fried cashews and kismis (raisins) and I am sure any one will love it just after having biryani! Other sweet dishes which are made by mom are Sheer Khurma and Dum ke sevayyan . They are usually made during Ramzan and if you have tasted it once there is no need to give details of it. When sheer khurma melts in your mouth you just feel like getting soaked in that flavor, taste and aroma!

Zarda and the cashew and kismis toppings

Sheer khurma and Dum ke Sevayyan
I will not post more pics and torture you. I will end my post just with one more surprise which will give nawabi feel to this luncheon and also my blog post ! Nothing will give you a high than the sweet pan after having biryani. Hyderabadis have special chai too and they think it is good for digestion but I love having pan ! Yes I am crude  :P I just love the sweet pan . There are many varieties in paan too
Image source : here
 Eating paan may damage your teeth so don't make it a habit ! I know you all are feeling hungry now ! Just the pics are making me burpp ! 
So "Khaaike biryani Hyderabad waala and paan banaaras waala 
       to Khul jaaye band akal ka taala" :p
:) - source - here

And do remember to work out little extra in the gym the next day !
Have fun . Have a feast :) 

Note: Do not waste food. If you have extra food during parties and weddings please call the food banks or orphanages and NGOs. They will be more than happy if you offer help. There are help line numbers too in your respective cities. Find out the details. We do the same in Hyderabad!

Image source : here
[This post is written for the Project 365 program at We Post Daily aimed at posting at least once a day, based on the prompts provided. I am the guest author for the month of February. The prompt for today is "Seconds- Describe the most satisfying meal you’ve ever eaten, in glorious

Some of my food posts from archives if interested -


  1. Are being a Bhopali, I am now missing the sweet pan!!!!
    I waaaaaaaaaaaaant!!
    And the malayalee in me is also craving for some Biryani!

    1. Then I will b happy that at least some one is with me when ever I gain weight ;) hehe
      Just kidding.ya that biryani and paan equally tempting

  2. I just had South Indian dish Adai for dinner with coconut chutney, onion chutney, and sambar. I read this post. I am hungry now. FedEx all the items. Thanks.

    1. Fed ex . Ha ha. I hate cooking
      I wish some one fed exed me all these weekly once

  3. I am hungry now!! :( How I miss authentic Indian cuisine here. I don't even have the right vessels to make a few of them. :( *Bawls her heart out*.

    1. Sorry for making u cry ;(
      I don't have half thd culinary skills u hav
      Just that husb is a great cook and mom is a magical cook . They both save my life . Should learn cooking some day

  4. Ok. I cannot stop drooling. Absolutely cannot. One of the reasons I learnt to cook was because my lovely wife is a vegetarian. Another reason was to impress her, but as per one of my recent posts, it didn't really go that well. If I am ever in Hyderabad, I am definitely dropping by your place for some sumptuous biriyani. Invitation or no invitation :). Mouth watering post Afshan, and truly a great way to start my Saturday. Time to get my plates :)

    1. Good that u learned cooking that too nv
      I m bad at it ;( sure when ever u r in hyd do drop by
      Will b glad to host !
      Thanks for reading and liking it

  5. This is my favourite food-on-FB post - for the honesty with which you start and the sheer yumminess with which you end. And you had me hooked throughout. Little did I know I was "inspiring" a post reading which would make me feel not only very hungry but very limited in my culinary skills too. I will dig that Haleem with you one day, and the Zarda and Sheer Khurma too (I start with desserts and end with them too). Lovely lovely post, Afshan. So good to have you writing with us. I love how you included FB, food updates, comments on your update and your mommy's cooking all in one piece here! Well done!!!

    1. I love the way u loved my post
      Ya 90% credit for writing this post goes to that fb status update and the funny disc we had . Feel elated looking your comment .
      Don't worry . My culinary skills are more horrible

  6. This is really yummy. Each dish you highlighted, you also gave recipe links also. So well-researched and well-written. Your love for good food shines through the honest post.

    P.S : Courier all the items or be ready to face my wrath :P Shorba, Haleem, Dalcha...really? You're KILLING me :'(

    1. Come to Hyd in March, I Will invite u to a feast
      well researched but not even one cooked by me :P
      chalo tc buddy <3

  7. U am vegetarian and loveeee veg biryaani...your zada is same like ours meethe chawal that we make on Saraswati pooja.

  8. Afshan, what a wrong timing of reading this post. Leaving from work and seeing all these pics makes me so so hungry. :-/ Brilliant take on the prompt. The pics compliment the text wonderfully. :-)

    On a different note, Biriyani and Sevaiyaan are my all time favourites. A colleague is generous enough to get home-made Biriyani, Sevaiyaan and Shami Kebabs on Id. Unfortunately, this year we'll miss all of it as her mother expired about a month back. :-(


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