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Old City ditches traditional dishes for good health


Restaurants that used to offer nihari paaya and kheema khichdi in the morning don’t do so any more.

HYDERABADMany traditional dishes are gradually being abandoned as the trend towards healthy eating gains ground.

In the Old City, particularly, this is changing the decades old food culture. Oily and spicy dishes are becoming less popular and the traditional ‘nihari paaya’, ‘khichdi and keema’ and even ‘biryani’ and ‘tahari’ are being replaced in restaurant menus with more healthy options.

Restaurants that used to offer nihari paaya and kheema khichdi in the morning don’t do so any more.

“People are avoiding the nihari these days, apparently due to health concerns. A lot of oil and spices are added to it so people are avoiding it,” admitted Mohammed Yousuf, proprietor of Imran Hotel at Chandrayangutta. His restaurant has served nihari paaya for two decades but doesn’t do so any more.

The owner of a restaurant in Moghalpura says the dish is time consuming and expensive to make and with the fall in the number of customers ordering it, many restaurants have stopped serving it.

Mohammed Irfan of Shah Ghouse Hotel says only a few big hotels still prepare nihari.

Dr Samiuz Zama, a cardiologist practising in an Old City-based hospital said, people are gradually changing their food habits. “We advise against intake of oily food to avoid heart related ailments. People are avoiding such food at parties too,” said Dr Zama

Dr Rafi Ahmed, former superintendent of Nizamia Tibbi Government Hospital, says many patients suffer from renal diseases in the older parts of the city owing to their food habits. “People are now very cautious and are avoiding oily and spicy foods. They are now switching over to refined edible oils too and are very careful about where they eat,” he said.

More people are aware about maintaining good health and many people, including women, are going out for morning walks, says M S Jaweed of the Star Martial Arts Club. “Women are enrolling in gymnasiums and physical fitness classes,” he added.

Eating vegetarian food at restaurants is a welcome change for those who eat non-vegetarian food at home.

Source: Deccan Chronicle

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