|Place of origin||India|
|Region or state||Aurangabad, Maharashtra|
|Main ingredient(s)||Coconut, poppy seeds (Khus Khus), mutton, chironji, yogurt or lemon|
Naan qalia is a dish that originates from Aurangabad in India. It is a concoction of mutton and a variety of spices. Naan is the bread made in tandoor (hot furnace) while qalia is a mixture of mutton and various spices.
When Mohammad Tughlaq shifted his capital from Delhi to Daulatabad, there was a mass exodus of people from Delhi to Daulatabad. On the way to Daulatabad, the huge army of Tughlaq was exhausted. It was a difficult task to provide such a big army with food, but the bawarchis (cooks) came up with a dish that could suffice the imposing army. They conceived the dish we call today as naan qalia. They dug a hot furnace and rolled out thousands of golden colored naan. Meanwhile qalia was prepared by cooking mutton and adding number of spices in the huge cauldron.
These days naan qalia is popular as the primary food served in marriage banquets in Aurangabad and neighboring towns, specially Khuldabad and Jalna. There are a number of unique features to the way Naan Qalia is prepared and served by people.
The naan are prepared in an open clay oven, which is mounted in a hole in the ground. The fire is from a side hole. The baker (generally called as bhatyara) sits next to the oven and places the naan in the oven for baking, these naan are picked out with specially designed rods. These Naan are quite fluffy, almost close to an artisan rustic bread. Quite different from the rustic naan flat bread available in Indian restaurants. Each of these naan also get a brush of turmeric water, as soon as they are baked. This gives the naan golden colour and also makes it last longer. It is believed that Tughlaq's army used to bake naan every few days to avoid longer stop overs during their journey.
The qalia is a soupy curry, ideal for dipping and soaking naan. The curry itself is made with a number of ingredients and with a long process. There are a number of variations in spices and the ingredients across the towns close to Aurangabad. The qalia from Aurangabad is yogurt based, whereas the one from Khuldabad is lemon based. The qalia is prepared in a big cauldron called degh, it has a top layer of oil. This spicy oil on top called tari is relished by people, it goes quite well as the first stage dip for the pieces of hot naan. Generally qalia is brought out in a big pot called badiya, it is served in small bowls called katora.
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