Hyderabad: It’s lunchtime and for many people in and around Afzalgunj, all roads lead to the busy bus stop in the area. Here, they unfailingly find a man serving hot vegetable Biryani from a heavy-bottomed handi or pot.
Popularly known as ‘Aqsa Biryani stall’, this not-so-posh decade-old hotel has been selling a plate of vegetable biryani for only Rs 10 round-the-clock. It opens at 7 am and runs till midnight and for the poor on the streets and daily wage labourers, it is a saviour.
Iftekhar Momin, a resident of Talab Katta, started the food stall with just a table and a few bowls almost ten years ago. He began by selling a plate of this veg biryani for just Rs 5. But the price eventually increased to a plate of veg biryani for Rs 10. Now, he runs four such stalls at Osmania General Hospital, Koti Women’s College bus stop, GPO Abids bus stop and near Secunderabad Railway Station.
The dish does not just comprise plain rice and one or two veggies. It is loaded with green peas, carrots, potato, tomato and fenugreek. Apart from serving for Rs 10, the stall also serves half a kg biryani for Rs 30 and a kg for Rs 60. The parcel facility too is available.
Iftekhar’s brother Asad said “When Iftekhar did his research in this area; he found that getting a good meal at an affordable price was impossible. That’s when he started this to serve poor and needy people. Our intention is not to make profits from this”.
The stall serves not less than 1,500 plates every day with just a margin of Re 1. The clientele includes people from all walks of life and around 60 kg of Biryani is prepared in four large containers.