An Aurangabad Exclusive
If you have attended weddings and celebration in Aurangabad, you would have definitely come across Naan Khaliya. A local origination of the city and cherished by its citizens. As you walk through the streets of Buddi Lane, Shahgunj, Katkat gate you will find array of naan stalls. Naan is bread made in a tandoor (hot furnace). Sheikh Rahim, who has been making the naans here for the past 11 years, said, "This dough can also be prepared with a wheat, rava and maida combination. In fact, for a special variety of the Naan, even milk and eggs can be added to the concoction." The naan is baked in an open clay oven, which is mounted in a hole in the ground. The fire is from a side hole. The baker sits next to the oven and places the naan in the oven for baking and is then picked out by specially designed rods. These Naan are quite fluffy. Each of these naan gets a brush of turmeric water, as soon as they are baked. This gives the naan golden color and also makes it last longer.
The history attached to this dish lies back to the mughal era when Mohammad Tughlaq shifted his capital from Delhi to Daulatabad. This lead to a mass movement of people from delhi to Daulatabad. Since the preparations of the food for such a huge army was a difficult task the bawarchis (cooks) dug a hot furnace and rolled out thousands of naan. Meanwhile, khalia was prepared by cooking mutton and adding number of spices in the huge vessel or cauldron. The khalia is a soupy curry, made with a number of ingredients and with a long process. There are a number of variations in spices and the ingredients across the towns close to Aurangabad. The khalia from Aurangabad is yogurt based, whereas the one from Khuldabad is lemon based. The khalia is prepared in a big cauldron called degh, it has a top layer of oil. This spicy oil on top is called tari.
There are many places all over the city that serve this dish. But one particular lace stands out for the crowd of youngsters’ ad families. Located in Kranti Chowk, Moonlight Restaurant has been selling more than 12 kgs of Naan khalia on a daily basis since 1981. Ismail Sheikh, the cook preparing the khalia for many years says we serve Naan Khaliya from 10 in the morning till midnight. This dish is eaten both as breakfast and otherwise as it is highly nutritious and filling, thanks to its meat and gravy content coupled with the wheat naan. This is a special dish from Hyderabad's Nizaam Sarkaar's time and was made for the soldiers of Aurangazeb's royal army. Not only is this dish quick to make but also you just need a huge degchi where the meat is cooked and one does not need to make various saalans.
Naan Khaliya is known to be a tough dish to perfect and not everyone can recreate the authentic mughal preparations easily. People love to eat naan khalia and it is considered as a special dish hence being served in weddings and celebrations. The naan khalia is traditionally served in ‘tamchini’ or enamel cookware. The defining feature of authentic serving of naan khalia is in white color blue rimmed bowl with naan on the side. Tahir Ahmad, a localite of Beed district says for me the best part about visiting Auranagabad is eating the Naan khalia here. The taste and the serving is just fulfilling.”Undoubtedly, naan khalia remains the exclusive Aurangabad dish loved by people and standing out among the rest of the foods.