Hyderabad prides Muharram delicacy Dum ke Roat

Hyderabadis miss community cooking, recall making of delectable delicacy of Hyderabad Dum ke Roat

Hyderabad prides Muharram delicacy Dum ke Roat

Pic Credits : Dr Haseeb Jafferi

HYDERABAD: As you walk past Subhan Bakery in Nampalli, you sure will not miss the sweet fragrance wafting across your nostrils. There is magic in that smell that is true-blue Hyderabadi. With the beginning of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar, the traditional Hyderabadi cookie, known as Dum-ke-Roat, is once again back in stalls in the bakeries. Long queues of Hyderabad foodies have been seen waiting to get the mouth-watering Dum-ke-Roat from the renowned Subhan Bakery in Nampally.

Pic credits: Sreeharsha/Twitter

Although Dum-ke-Roat is sold at a number of bakeries in Hyderabad, the one at Subhan Bakery in Nampally makes the best cookies, according to Hyderabadis. Subhan Bakery, known for its Dum-ke-Roat and Osmania biscuits, began selling Dum-ke-Roat cookies in 1971.

Pic credits: Mohammed Javed /Twitter

Foodies from all over the city come to Nampally to buy Dam-Key-Roat during the Moharram season and for a few months afterwards. Dum-ke-Roat cookies are reportedly sold only for a short time after the Moharram season and it is believed that during the season, the famous cookies is frequently offered to Bibi-Ka-Alam or Alam-e-Mubarak.

This delectable Hyderabadi delicacy is made of refined wheat flour, sooji (semolina), vegetable oils, sugar, honey, clarified butter, salt, cardamom, dry fruits, Zafran(saffron) and milk products.

Family tradition

Despite the fact that we know that Dum-ke-Roat, which is served in many large bakeries in Hyderabad, was formerly baked at home during Moharram. On the eighth and ninth days of Moharram, an entire family would meet and prepare roats overnight. Many Hyderabadis have fond childhood recollections of creating authentic Dum-ke-Roat with their family members in traditional wood ovens and gas ovens using only the basic ingredients. Additionally, Hyderabadis used to mix their own dough at home before taking it to nearby bakeries to be baked in the ovens.

Mohammad Javed recounts his early experience with Dum-ke-Roat and tells Newstap, "Well, Dum Ke-Roat wasn't always that commercialised. In my childhood, the entire family would gather and make roats overnight on the eighth or ninth day of Moharram.

"It was a great era for Hyderabadis when we all made roats, gulgule, and khopre ke chobe (a type of coconut modak). "I miss those days. Roats are now widely accessible in all Hyderabadi bakeries. Our family still makes Roats and Khopre ke Chobey, which we made this year as well," he continued.

Pic credits: Mohammed Javed(Homemade roats & Khopre Key Chobey)

"We prepared roats in large numbers on the eighth day of Moharram and gave them to friends, neighbours, and the poor. It is really satisfying when the entire family comes together to prepare traditional Hyderabadi dishes on special occasions. Hyderabadi's are incredibly blessed to have such a wide variety of delicious delicacies to prepare. I hope the tradition will continue in the future too, because I feel bad for the younger generation that will be missing out on these pleasures."

Flavours dominating originality

Hyderabadi's also believe that, while roats made in bakeries are loaded with flavours and dry fruits, which are delicious, homemade roats made with simple ingredients are beyond comparison.

"When I was kid, we used to prepare the dough and every neighbourhood had a local bakery," Dr. Haseeb Jafferi, Cultural Curator of Sufi Trails from Hyderabad, recalls. "We'd take it to our local bakery and have it baked for us. So, we used to do community baking together, which has all but disappeared now that bakeries are essentially takeaway stalls."

He further added, "Previously, this was not the case, and as a result, the concept of community baking has vanished. Now, bakers have realised that why bake someone else's roats when you can bake your own and sell them for a good price and, of course, with a fantastic taste using all kinds of rich ingredients. The flavouring has changed the taste and moved away from the original recipe of roat that Shia and Sunni communities would cook during the days of mourning of Moharram. All of these cuisines have been heavily impacted by Shia ethnic cuisines that have emerged from that part of the world," he pointed out.

"These days, the commercial form of Roat is more like high quality Nan Khati and bears little resemblance to original Gud ke roat, which has more earthy and rustic flavour," said Dr. Haseeb Jafferi of Hyderabad. Of course, food evolves over time, and so has roat.

If you're a Hyderabadi and would like to try Dum-ke-Roat cookies, stop by your local Pista House or Karachi bakery. Hyderabadi's who choose to solely eat Dum-ke-Roat from the famous Subhan Bakery must stand in long lines since they sell the best roats.

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