Thursday 25 March 2021

Irani Chai, A Cupp of joy With Two Osmania Biscuit: The Flavour of Hyderabad in Nimrah Cafe.

Irani chai is one of the most flavorful and delicious chai recipe that has been gifted to India from the people of Persia. Slowly and gradually it has taken the form of Indian Attire and is now one of the most popular local products of Hyderabad.

Irani Chai In Nimrah Café

 Irani Chai is mostly served with Irani Samosa or Osmania Biscuits which are another specialty of Hyderabad. The color is a very special brown and the taste sweet and of this thick brew. Very different from the ordinary chai cupp !

After pearls and Biryani and yes of course Charminar, something that is synonymous with the city of Hyderabad is the Irani Chai. Take a tour of any part of the city and you will see people sipping cups of hot creamy Irani Chai. 

Be it morning or afternoon or evening or night, Hyderabadis can be seen gathering around any Chai stall having their never ending discussion over cups and cups of Irani Chai.


What is so special about this Tea Recipe?

Just like Dum Biryani which is most commonly known as Hyderabadi Biryani, this tea follows the same cooking process like the biryani. It is also known as “Dum Chai". Slowly brewed spices give the tea a nice flavour. Irani cafés are the places where one could feel free to sit for hours and share or discuss things in a bindaas manner.

Iranii Chai


Nimrah Café and Bakery at the crowded Old City, which opened its doors for chai lovers in 1993, right next to the iconic monument, Charminar, has turned a tourist destination. Indeed, Nimrah has also become a photo shoot spot under the historical monument for tech-savvy people.

Nimrah Café & Bakery 

One’s trip to Charminar never gets complete without sipping an Irani chai at
Nimrah Café and Bakery. Nimrah Café is the first choice to treat myself with a cupp of Irani Chaii and a couple of Osmania Biscuits, before a heritage walk to start around Charminar. Tea is priced at 12 Rs and 2 Osmania biscuits at 5 Rs. Pretty Cheap!

Making OF Irani Chai

 Irani chai always tempted my travelling of Hyderabad. Whenever we are in Hyderabad, we don’t miss loitering around the iconic monument, Charminar and a sip of Irani chai at Nimrah.


The tables inside and outside Nimrah will be filled with chai cups and a plate full of Osmania biscuits from the time it rolls up its shutters at 4 am. Despite the fact that hundreds of eateries continue to exist in and around Charminar.


It’s good that they have kept a couple of tables outside for people to enjoy their Chai with the iconic Charminar in the backdrop.



Standing outside Nimrah Café with a cupp of hot Irani Chaii in your hand, the sun rays hits the Charminar to bring it to life. Lots of hustle and bustle around as road side shops are being set up. All this with the Irani Chai is pure enjoyment.


If looking for the real taste of hyderabadi life, don’t go visiting luxury hotels and restaurants but to the road side stalls and eateries selling out some most authentic and delicious delicacies of the city.


Source of Irani chai

Persian immigration to India dates back at least 1,300 years when followers of the Prophet Zarathustra, also known as Zoroastrians, settled here to escape religious atrocities from the Arab invaders into Persia.


A steady trickle of Zoroastrians and later Iranian Shia Muslims continued into India during Mughal and then British rule. India remains the largest Migration heaven, for Parsis, as they are known here, and Iranian Zoroastrian community, outside Iran.

Irani Chai with Osmania Biscuit


By the beginning of the 20th century, Irani cafes had sprung up on almost every prominent street corner in Bombay, Pune and Hyderabad becoming a symbol both of Iranian cultural integration and distinctiveness.


Families, during the nizam era, hardly visited any hotels. Eating out was not then part of the Hyderabadi culture. This changed when students, who went to European countries for higher studies, returned to the city and found the Irani cafes an apt spot to spend some time sipping tea and lighting a cigarette.


Over time, students, intellectuals, activists- all made the Irani cafe their hangout place. The cafes also had Urdu newspapers. The elders would scan the paper in the morning and the lazier younger generation would read them in the evening.


Origin of Osmania biscuits

According to historian Arvind Acharya, the Osmania biscuits have originated in the 1920s when the then Nizam, Mir Osman Ali Khan, started to show his delight with them. Prior to then, the biscuit of Hyderabad was a salty biscuit, almost like the shortbread biscuits one sees in England.

Osmania Biscuit


Reportedly, the shortbread was Indianized with salt, and when Mir Osman Ali Khan liked them a little sweet-and-salty, they were made for him, and given the name Osmania biscuit.


Be it an early-morning newspaper session, an official gathering or a casual get-together, a sip of Irani chai and a bite of Osmania biscuit used to add the final touch and perk up Hyderabadis’ mood.

Irani Chai,Osmania Biscuit,Nimrah Cafe and Charminar-Hyderabad


Which Hyderabadi would forget terms like ‘Pauna’ (which means quarter extra milk), ‘Pani kam’ (less water, hence stronger), ‘Malai Markey’ (with a dash of cream on the top), ‘Sulemani’ (a sweet-sour tea made from black tea), Cutting chai (half the quantity served at half price) and ‘Khade chamach ki chai’ (it has so much sugar that the spoon can stand straight in the middle of the cup), are some of the variants of Hyderabadi Irani chai.


From a college-going student to an elderly person, a daily wager to a government or a private employee, Irani cafés would be flocked with people sipping chai, roaring with laughter, chit-chatting, sharing gossip, pouring over a newspaper or merely sitting and enjoying a pleasant time.


Specialty Of This Irani Chai

The specialty of the chai lies in the fact that it is not made solely from milk. A bit of condensed milk is added to the mix, and the tea is prepared like a coffee concentrate, without letting the vapors escape from the vessel in which it is prepared. The key to balancing the taste perfectly is to not mix the tea and the milk during preparation, but only when it is served.


The typical accompaniment of Iranii chai is the famous Osmania biscuits, which reflect the royal heritage of Hyderabad, or the lukmi, which is the local variant of a samosa. The tea is often called 90ml tea, is an allusion to its standard volume.


Brun Maska is what the Persians traditionally ate with the Irani chai. It is butter coated bread that is dipped in the sweet blend to give a salty-sweet taste.


“Ek Garam chai ki pyali ho”. Tea is India’s most favorite beverage and most of the tea lovers will agree on the point that nothing compares, a cup of hot masala tea for ever mood and weather. Tea is so famous that there are numerous songs written on it, so you can well understand the love of masala chai. It is this love that has compelled us to list the beat masala tea serving cafes in the city.

The End

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