Hit by lockdown, shops selling the traditional Persian flatbread in Hyderabad, are seeing business pick up slowly
Hyderabad: Waking up from a lockdown-induced slumber and consequent blow to the business, shops making and selling Hyderabad’s popular ‘naan’, a traditional Persian flatbread, are slowly inching back into the game.
The comeback, however, is not without a little bit of extra baggage left behind by the lockdown. According to shop owners, the prices of ‘naan’, which is as popular as the ‘tandoor’ and ‘rumali’ rotis, ‘paranthas’ and ‘kulchas’ in the city, have already gone up in most places, from Rs 13 to Rs 15, and is likely to be further increased to Rs 17 before the end of the year.
“A few hotels are already selling it for Rs 17 each. Others will also follow suit soon because of the hike in prices of ingredients and the labour wages,” says Saleem of Shah Deccan Naan Mahal at Misrigunj.
Khaja Abdul Hameed of Munshi Naan at Purani Haveli, where about half a dozen shops sell all five shapes — square, oval, round and star and pan or heart — of the bread, says that the prices of ‘maida’ flour, the main ingredient that goes into a ‘naan’, is now priced at Rs 2,300 a quintal while the price of edible oil, curd and yeast too have registered a significant rise over the last few months.
“After a break due to the lockdown, our workers have reported back for work but are demanding more wages. There is no option but to pay them more because there are only a limited few familiar with the process of making naan,” he adds.
The ‘naan’ shops at Purani Haveli sell a few thousand breads every day, with the baking in the tandoor done mostly in the morning and evening.
Khadeem Munshi Naan at Khadeem Haveli is one of the oldest shops in the city and was started by Mohammed Hussain in late 18th century. Hussain worked as a clerk or ‘munshi’ in the office of Asaf Jah IV, with the shop thus getting the moniker Munshi Naan, according to family members. The traditional ‘naan’ has always held a prominent place when it comes to Hyderabadi cuisine and is preferred as an accompaniment with the various Mughlai dishes cooked in homes and hotels.
Gafoor Bhai of Deccan Naan, Nampally, says though many new shops have come up, the old ones at Nampally, Purani Haveli and Charminar continue to be popular among the public.
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