Most vacationers come to the historic metropolis of Aurangabad, within the eponymous district of Maharashtra, to discover the centuries-old rock-cut temples, intricate sculptures and work of the Ellora and Ajanta Caves, close by. Based by the Abyssinian slave-turned-warrior Malik Ambar in 1610 as Khadki, and ever since dominated by everybody from the Ahmadnagar Sultanate to Mughal Badshah Aurangazeb who rechristened it, and the Nizams of Hyderabad, Aurangabad has its share of heritage websites and vacationer sights. Probably the most well-known amongst them is the Bibi ka Maqbara, the tomb of Aurangazeb’s spouse, usually dubbed as Dakkhani Taj or the Mini Taj of the Deccan, on account of its hanging resemblance with the Taj Mahal. Aurangazeb not solely imprinted his identify on town, however he additionally constructed 52 gates right here (just a few stay), incomes Aurangabad the moniker of Metropolis of Gates. However for many who discover locations and tradition by way of their tastebuds, a primary attraction in Aurangabad is the naan khaliya (or qaliya), its most well-known and ubiquitous dish.
At Lodge Tuba, a working-class institution within the bustling Champa Chowk space of Aurangabad, sixty-year-old Rafid Sheikh calmly waits on an enormous, soot-stained pot of gosht khaliya from which curls of aromatic smoke rise. He ladles out the luscious, golden gravy and items of beef into red-rimmed enamel bowls adorned with stencilled flowers, and tops it up with chili purple oil, earlier than packing it in plastic luggage for affected person and keen prospects.
Beside him, three younger boys relentlessly work round a tandoor set in a deep gap dug right into a raised platform. In excellent coordination, they work collectively to prove sunshine yellow naan. One cuts out giant pellets of creamy white dough, the second rolls them out into spherical discs and the third massages the floor with an orangish-gold liquid, earlier than slapping the naans on the wall of the tandoor. Inside minutes, completely overvalued, turmeric yellow mound-like breads are flicked out with iron rods. “Mughalo ke zamane se aisey hello banta aa raha hai naan khaliya.” “Naan Khaliya is being made the identical manner because the occasions of the Mughals,” says Sheikh, as he offers his preparation one other stir.
Sheikh clearly alludes to the time when town was the headquarters of Mughal Emperor Aurangazeb throughout his viceroyalty over Deccan. However khaliya predates the arrival of Mughal Badshah Aurangzeb, or town itself. Fashionable principle suggests the dish was created on the time of Muhammad bin Tughlaq, the Sultan of Delhi. In 1327, Tughlaq shifted his capital from Delhi to Devagiri, just a few miles from present-day Aurangabad, and renamed it Daulatabad. He pressured his courtiers, troopers and populace to tackle an arduous journey of a whole lot of miles. As Tarana Husain Khan writes within the e-book Degh to Dastarkhwan, “The enforced mass migration of the military and the populace necessitated a primary meat dish to feed the camp in transit.” So, the royal cooks concocted a one-pot recipe for meat cooked with a number of spices, slowly on a leisurely flame.
The khaliya at the moment, Sheikh elaborates, is made by cooking the meat with a rainbow of substances like khuskhus, khopra, kaju, magaz, and bhilawe ki chironji (semecarpus anacardium), a bit yoghurt and a mixture of aromatic spices for about two hours. The naan, then again, is made with a dough of entire wheat flour, semolina and maida, leavened with yeast and will get its distinct identification from the yellow color that comes from a smear of jaggery and turmeric water. These days meals color is a typical substitute for turmeric. Richer, extra intricate, variations of the Aurangabadi naan, sometimes served at weddings, might use every little thing from milk and honey to khoya and eggs. Thick and fluffy, the naan is ideal for absorbing the unctuous gravy. “The most effective naan khaliya is served at weddings however I discover the one from Jabbar Bhai’s, a takeaway joint in Juna Bazaar, is superb,” says chef Mohib Farooqui, an award-winning chef-academician and a local of Aurangabad. In fact, throughout town, there are quite a few naan khaliya joints every backed by staunch blocs of loyalists.