Perfect Combination: Irani Chai with Dunking sweet and salty Osmania biscuits in Hyderabad
You know what is the best Combination on earth, any guess!! So let me tell you that the best combination on earth is an afternoon tea with crispy biscuits. Yes, we are talking about fresh from the ovens, Osmania butter cookies are the perfect accompaniment to a cup of Irani chai.
At Nimrah bakery, thousands of both are consumed every dayNested in Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad, India, is an ordinary-looking bakery selling cakes, bread and biscuits.
A lively Life Inside the Nimrah Bakery
Life inside Nimrah bakery is no less energetic. From 4am to around midnight its fierce following of Hyderabadis is haggling over the counter for the hot-from-the-oven osmania biscuits – buttery cookies, sometimes with coconut, just 2p each – and soupy cups of Irani chai, the latter a local speciality that was imported from Iran centuries ago. They slide into wooden booths to eat, or buy boxes of hot cookies to take home. Owner Aslam, whose father set up Nimrah in 1993, shifts 7,000 cups of chai a day, alongside 4,000 cookies to dunk in it – it’s serious business. Hyderabad is better known for another food export: biryani. The small osmania biscuits haven’t had quite the same marketing, even though they’re available all over town. (Nimrah’s are so good, Aslam tells me, that Mumbaikers order trayfuls of them and get them bussed back.
Types of Biscuits
There are two versions of the story of where the biscuit originated. The first: they were named after the last Nizam of Hyderabad, Mir Osman Ali Khan, who wanted a biscuit that was both sweet and salty. The second: they escaped from a dietician’s menu at Osmania hospital. Patients (and visitors) loved the cookie so much that bakers around the city started making their own and serving them with Irani chai.