It’s unusually warm for December. The Hyderabad I’ve seen last in 2005 has, expectedly, transformed into a concrete jungle. The charm of waving out for autos and taxis and negotiating the rates has gone, and here I was totally dependent on my smartphone to book my taxi! I realize I have more than one hour to kill during my ride from Madhapur to Nampally. The old town of Hyderabad has on offer food from the past that oozes history, tradition and loads of fat! The Jouzi Halwa particulary caught my attention during my research for this trip.
Bang in the middle of a major intersection, I see an old run down store with an almost faded name board. A little unsure if I am in the right place, I walk in tentatively. I meet Syed Ishaq Ahmed the manager of the store who assures me I am at the store that was once patronized by the Nizam, the store that was made to change it’s name to the nickname of the Nizam’s son Hameedi upon request by the Nizam. A very warm person, he gives me the Jouzi Halwa to sample. Oh boy! What occured to me first was that the Jouzi Halwa had almost the same texture as the Paalkova ( In case you’re wondering what the Paalkova is, we’ve covered it in our earlier food trails. Click here) Hold on, there’s more to it. A hint of a secret spice somewhere, that gives it a unique edge. Keeps me guessing if it be cinnamon, cloves or cardamom. And finally, I think of Nutmeg. As Rachel Ray (in 30 minute meals) used to say, the secret spice to a dish that makes you go ‘hmmmmmm! whats that?’ is nutmeg in this case.
Mohammed Hussain (the current owner’s grand father), a young Turkish boy of 15 back in the early 19th century decided to start his business and set up a sweet shop in Hyderabad. Nutmeg powder,milk, ghee, sugar, dry fruits and saffron is slow cooked for hours together to make the Jouzi Halwa.This halwa was a raging hit so much that the Nizam having heard about it came by the shop to taste it. The Nizam loved the sweet so much that he announced that the shop be named after the nickname of one of his sons – Hameedi. The store also has a poster-sized letter in Urdu written and sent by the Nizam back then.
Hameedi sweets and confectioners is right opposite Famous ice cream at Mozzam Jahi Market.I was able to get a sneak peek into the kitchen where they make this delicacy and here’s a photo story.
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