If in Hyderabad you’d think that you’ve seen it all when it comes to Biryani. The other day The Hindu ran an article on the list of places which have inspired Biryani related concoctions and dishes. While United Kitchens of India had their Biryani-cocktail with aromas which exude the one dish that can get a Hyderabadi to bow down at his knees. I personally haven’t been a Biryani person myself. But this city has changed me to an extent that I do crave a bowl of it once in a while. Yeah here in Hyderabad, you don’t eat by a plate but a Bowl-ful
However, there is one place which lies in the bylanes of Nampally which should get it’s due in this regard. Deccan Achar has been making Biryani pickle for quite a while now. It’d be hard to find this shop if you were new to the area and didn’t ask for directions. Even Google Maps would send you in a circle for Nampally traffic is notorious for pushing you into corners you’d not think existed.
Standing tall is the Deccan Achar where you’d see a throng of people busy having small plates in their hand as they taste each of the pickle varieties before buying them. From small packets to kilograms of the pickles, the customers parcel them in droves. I’d gone to Deccan Achar a couple of years ago while researching on interesting food and had totally forgotten about it. It wasn’t until that I got a call from Chef Kunal Kapur for new inventive pickles for his “Pickle Nation” that I did remember it.
The pickles are all made in huge aquarium size-vats set along the walls of the shop. Like most commercial shops making pickles, they also do use a lot of vinegar. This super-speeds the pickling process but vinegar leaves a tingling sensation in your throat as you have it in pickles. The home-made Indian pickles though go through a rigorous process of drying and pickling before finally being put to use.
Deccan Achar’s star product is their Biryani pickle. A product carefully made by the current owner to bring back business after he took over the reins. It was all about being the showcase-factor for the shop but it definitely worked. While I took a bite of the pickle, I could deny the quintessential aroma of Biryani you’d get once a lid is lifter off a freshly cooked one. As the owner explains it’s made using Biryani spices and mangoes without divulging any other secrets.
I bought a packet to have with a portion of hot rice. This is when it all comes together. When mixed with steaming rice, it almost can be passed off as a Biryanish-Pulav. The taste is almost similar and can almost be passed off as a 2-cent Biryani. Not wanting to order-in and yet craving for a portion of Biryani? Mix a little bit of the pickle and you’ve got your lunch/dinner going.
Hyderabad has had it’s Biryani-fication of various products. And the Biryani pickle from Deccan Achar adds into that list. They do have more than 50-60 other varieties of pickles including non-vegetarian ones. My favorite though is the Kariyapak (Curry Leaves), Karela (Bitter Gourd) and a Mango Green Til.
Location : Deccan Achar, Nampally Market
Phone: 040 2321 4571