Hyderabad will be world's culinary capital, says Mayor

On the occasion of World Cities Day 2019, UNESCO had announced that Mumbai and Hyderabad have been included in its network of Creative Cities. Photo/PTI

Mouthwatering delicacies like haleem and biriyani, which originated from other parts of the world and blended with local flavours over time, have helped Hyderabad secure UNESCO's 'Creative City of Gastronomy' tag, Mayor B Rammohan said here.

On the occasion of World Cities Day 2019, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) had announced that Mumbai and Hyderabad have been included in its network of Creative Cities.

Noting that gastronomy provides direct and indirect livelihood to about 12 per cent of the city's working population, Rammohan said it also creates strong cohesive networks between people of varied religions, regions, castes class and gender.

"Recipes have been historically brought from all over the globe (particularly the Middle East and Central Asia) and over time have blended with local flavours, resulting in universally acclaimed dishes such as 'Haleem' (Geographical Indicator Certified) and 'Biriyani', he said.

This unique gastronomic culture offers value addition to the international platter, and hence Hyderabad deserves to be a part of this creative network," the Mayor told PTI. He expressed hope that Hyderabad would eventually become the 'Gastronomy capital of the world.'

According to historians, Hyderabad, fondly called the 'City of Pearls' has a sizeable population of Arab, African, Turkish, Iranian and Persian communities, who have had a far-reaching impact on the local culture, including food. Ranked amongst the top 10 fastest growing cities in the world with a GDP of USD 50.6 billion in 2019, Hyderabad is expected to grow at a rate of 8.5 per cent and attain a GDP value of USD 201 billion by 2035 (as per World Economic Forum), government sources said.

The entire city is dotted with food enterprises; big and small, formal and informal, modern and traditional. This vernacular style of development has led to an uncountable number of food outlets. While there are over 2,200 registered restaurants, culinary experts estimate the informal market to have about a hundred thousand (100,000) units, they said.

Besides restaurants, the city also is a source of employment potential for thousands through roadside food courts or "Bandis". UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) membership is expected to provide an impetus to the ongoing efforts aimed at eliminating poverty, hunger, reducing inequality, generating employment and establishing gender equality.

This network would provide access to ideas, knowledge and technology which would help create sustainable physical and social infrastructure, Rammohan said. Managing Director of city-based Pista House, the world's largest Haleem maker, Majeed said the dish which was brought from Saudi Arabia was "indianised" with local spices and ingredients.

"We are now exporting Haleem to Saudi Arabia, the genesis of the delicacy," Majeed told PTI. Celebrities including Salman Khan and Shahrukh Khan, among others satiate their taste buds with Hyderabadi Haleem during Ramzan, he added. 

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