WE WERE ADVISED TO PAY a visit to the “new Niloufer café” in Hyderabad to try its Irani Chai. We hired an Uber taxi to take us there.
The New Niloufer Café turned out to be a rather scruffy place across the road from a newer looking place called “The Niloufer Café”.
Irani chai is prepared by boiling tea leaves continuously in a large kettle. This produces a strong decoction, which is poured through a muslin filter and then added to boiling milk before being served in cups.
As the New Niloufer did not serve milk without sugar, we crossed the road to the Niloufer Café, which did. This café was very crowded. In addition to tea, it sold a wide range of biscuits, cakes, and breads. One of the breads looked like an oversized bagel or an obese Turkish simit.
After taking tea at this café, we walked past several Hindu temples, mostly dedicated to Hanuman, and many medical clinics until we spotted yet another Niloufer Café. This one is newer and more luxurious than the previous café but belongs to the same company. It described itself as the “Niloufer Café Premier Lounge”.
On reflection, we realised that it was the new Premier Lounge, rather than the unrelated New Niloufer Café, that had been recommended to us.
By the way, Princess Niloufer (1916-89) was one of the princesses of the Ottoman Empire. She married the second son of the last Nizam of Hyderabad, Moazam Jah. He died in 1952 and then she married an American, Edward Julius Pope in 1963.
Photo shows kettle for boiling tea to prepare decoction