‘Mandi’ now gaining popularity over Biriyani in Hyderabad food circles

Mandi is served on a huge plate, with Biriyani-like rice and a huge chunk of Chicken or mutton. The eateries serving Mandi in Hyderabad see huge crowds.

Hyderabad: The famous Hyderabadi biriyani of Arabic origin is facing tough competition nowadays from the Hyderabadi Mandi, another traditional Arabic dish that has started dominating the Hyderabad food industry.

Mandi, a food of Arabic origin, popular in Gulf countries has since its introduction caught the fancy of residents of the City of Pearls, Hyderabad. The Arabic culture has had a great influence on the history, culture and traditions of Hyderabad. The city’s cuisine has always been driven by Arabic influence.

Mandi is served on a huge plate, with Biriyani-like rice and a huge chunk of Chicken or mutton. The eateries serving Mandi in Hyderabad see huge crowds.

Speaking about Mandi, a shop owner, Mohammad Shakeel informed that the dish is getting popular lately because a plate of Mandi costs Rs 1000 and is sufficient enough for up to four people.

Shakeel further said, “We have 12 branches. We have the best quality Mandi. Mutton Juicy Mandi is one of our famous dishes and best seller. We have a variety of platters like chicken, mutton and seafood.”

Speaking about the variety of Mandi and its costs, Shakeel said, “The chicken varieties start at Rs 850 and mutton at Rs 1000. We provide a good quantity of meat pieces in the Mandi. We have a very good interior where people can enjoy it with their families. We regularly sell around 45 to 50 handi of the dish on weekdays and upto 60 handi’s on the weekends.”

Since the launch of Mandi in Hyderabad, “any day I prefer Mandi over biryani,” said Altaf, a customer and Mandi lover present at one of Shakeel’s many restaurants.

Altaf, a resident of Tolichowki says, “The Mandi is a very good and reasonable price. It also has good taste and quantity. I have come here almost 6 times.”

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Ali Akbar, another foodie informed, “I had Mandi for around Rs.400. There is Mandi of chicken, mutton and fish here. The taste is really good.”

Not just for adults, the Arabic cuisine Mandi has tingled the taste buds of children too.
Speaking about the craze of Mandi amongst the kids, Farhan, a customer says, “I am a regular customer of this place since its opening. I have a son and daughter and we make sure to eat Mandi here whenever we pass by this place. We try a different variety each time. The taste is really good.”

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The Arabic cuisine Mandi differs from the Biriyani in the way it is cooked and served. The cooking process of Mandi involves an oven specially designed for it and then put into a hole dug in the ground and covered by clay for cooking.

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