Green Habits : Cleansing veggies & fruits of impurities
The sirkar, a jar full of veggies and fruits soaked in vinegar, is an essential dish on the table in old Hyderabadi families
- Washing fruits and veggies well before eating them a normal habit
- Soaking them in vinegar is a time-tested and healthy practice in city
- Vinegar is said to sanitise and sterilise fruits and vegetables
- A few families in the city still swear by the benefits of Sirkar
- Sirkar used to be an essential element at every Dastarkhan (dining place) in Hyderabad
- The tradition gained momentum during Nizam’s rule
Hyderabad: The sirkar, a jar full of veggies and fruits soaked in vinegar, is an essential dish on the table in old Hyderabadi families.
During Mughal period and later during the Nizam rule, sirkar became an inseparable part of cuisine for Hyderabadis.
The vegetables soaked in vinegar over night are a common sight at every Dastarkhan in Hyderabad. The tradition gained momentum during the rule of Nizams and his descendants in Hyderabad.
There are still a few families in the city that swear by its benefits. Haseeb Jafferi, a descendant of fourth Nizam Salabath Jung, said, “It is a family tradition, and the sirkar finds a prominent place in our house even today.”
Carrot, chopped onions, green chillies, garlic, radish, black channa are some of the vegetables used in sirkar. Earlier, people used earthen pots to soak the vegetables, but these days glass jars are used.
The use of vinegar dates back to Greeks. The benefits of vinegar are found in all religious texts, including the Bible and in Islam.
Ibn Seena, who died 1037 CE, wrote in his famous book Al-Qanoon fit Tibb – the Canon of Medicine – that vinegar is a powerful clotting agent.
If poured on an external wound, it will stop the bleeding and prevents from swelling. It aids digestion and is an expectorant.
ZakiyaUnissa, a resident in Mehdipatnam, said, “It’s an essential dish on our dining table, I usually prepare it during the monsoon, and we take it after dinner, especially after biryani.”
“We prefer it either with soup or after eating food,” said Alok Kumar, in-charge at Chung Hua restaurant. Madiha Khalid, a resident of Somajiguda, said, “I came to know about sirka from my mother-in-law.”
“Vinegar is not just a digestive aid, but also acts as an anti-oxidant.
It controls glucose levels in blood, weight and prevents high cholesterol, reduces the chances of cancer and infections and promotes healthy heart,” Dr Narsimha Reddy, a nutritionist.
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