Hyderabad: It’s all about the bare hands magically converting dough into neat long stringed vermicelli used in preparing sheer kurma – a sweet delicacy- which completes the Ramzan festivities.
Despite the shift in the customs and traditions, the handmade vermicelli or ‘seviyah’ continues to be much sought after in the run up to the Ramzan festival. And catering to the demand of the handmade vermicelli are a few families from the older parts of the city who are into the vocation for generations.
Mohammed Naseer of Dabeerpura claims to be a fifth generation family member who is into the trade. The handmade variety, though priced higher than the machine made one, attracts scores of buyers.
“The handmade variety of seviyah is much sought after as the sheer kurma, the delicacy prepared on Eid, is tastier as against the machine variety. The machine variety resembles the handmade variety but it fails when it comes to taste,” explains Naseer.
Around a dozen families in the Dabeerpura, Yakutpura and Imliban areas of the city are into making vermicelli. “Buyers come only during the month of Ramzan. But the fact is that we start our work at least six months before as it is to be made in huge quantities to meet the requirements,” says Qamar, his brother.
The five-member family makes around 20 to 25 kilograms of vermicelli. “Luckily, we started in January and continued till May. The weather turned favourable for us and hence we could meet the orders of traders from districts too,” he says.
Aslam Khan of Imliban is into making vermicelli for the last four decades. “I assisted my father and grandfather in the vocation and gradually took over. Now, we prepare and sell it locally as we get good price in retail otherwise the middlemen benefit,” he says.
A kilo of handmade vermicelli costs between Rs 150 and Rs 200 while the regular machine made variety costs half the price.
“The machine made is not used in preparing the sheer kurma as it forms into a pulp when mixed with milk while the handmade floats in the sheer kurma and tastes good,” says Yasmeen Begum, another vermicelli maker.
Women are slowly taking over the vocation from men. Not only hard work but low profit is also pushing men away from the trade.”