The Kalyani Nawabs and arrival of kalyani biryani in hyderabad

The tomb and some ruins are all that remains of the Kalyani Nawab ki Devdi. (Photo by Md Habeeb Heritage Activist)

Hyderabad (Rahnuma) The Kalyani Nawabs of Bidar came to Hyderabad sometime in the 18th century and build up their haveli in what’s today known at the Kalyani Nawab ki devdi, which is situated at the Moghulpura, Old city of Hyderabad. The tomb and some ruins are all that remains of the Kalyani Nawab ki Devdi. The ornate arches, colourful tile work , delicate stucco surround the filigree-worked marble grave which lies amidst many other graves would most certainly remind one of the Paigah tombs.

The Kalyani Nawabs were the fort keepers of Basavakalyan (now in Karnataka but was part of Nizam’s territory) for Nizams, arrived Hyderabad sometime in the 18th century. One of the Kalyani Nawabs, Ghazanfur Jang married Sahibzadi Kamal-un-Nissa Begum, the second daughter of Asif Jah III, the third Nizam of Hyderabad. The Kalyani Nawabs were from the present day Basavakalyan. After the marriage in 1802, Ghazanfur Jang happened set up his devdi or haveli (residence) in today’s Moghulpura. Basavakalyan or Kalyani was located on the fringes of the erstwhile Hyderabad State.

The Kalyani Nawabs were known for their exceptional hospitality, especially towards those who visited from Hyderabad. Kalyani Nawab ki Devdi was home for anyone who had a petition in the Nizam’s court and had to make a trip to the city from the outskirts, The devdi was known to serve two meals to everyone and the ‘Kalyani Biryani’ was the most popular dish served by them.

In 1948, the Indian government took over Hyderabad State in what was named Operation Polo. Post-1948 were tough times for the nobles of the Hyderabad state. After the privy purse was abolished and the nawabs went into decline, some of their illustrious cooks set up their own stalls and introduced the Kalyani biryani to the local populace. The Kalyani biryani is characterized by small cubes of buffalo meat flavored with ginger, garlic, turmeric, red chili, cumin, coriander powder, lots of onion and tomato, made into a thick curry and then cooked in dum style along with rice.

Today, the devdi of the Kalyani Nawabs stands in ruins, which goes to show the sad state of affairs. It’s disheartening to see that we’re unable to preserve our historical heritage through monuments. But on the brighter side, we’ve managed to capture the wonderful past and glory in our food, which is in the Kalyani biryani.

The tomb and some ruins are all that remains of the Kalyani Nawab ki Devdi. (Photo by Md Habeeb Heritage Activist)

 

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