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For the love of Haleem

Posted June 8th, 2018, 10:42 AM IST

For the love of Haleem

I love the way Hyderabad comes alive during Ramzan. I personally love venturing towards the Old City during the month to soak in the sights and sounds of the old lanes. You will witness people shopping for wares, breaking their fasts during iftaar and most importantly enjoying delicious street food. Starting off with the haleem and chai at Hotel Nayaab, fish fry besides Hotel Shahran, seekh kebabs at Jehangir, pathar ka gosht, chicken 65 at Akbar and walk all the way till Shah Ghouse to end it all with delicious bowl of biryani is the regular food walk route.

The iftaar spread include patti samosas, khajoor, biryani, dahi ke wade. But there is one dish which you can’t miss during Ramzan haleem. What was initially served as a breakfast item, slowly got relegated to be a Ramzan only dish due to the elaborate prep time.

But to find the interesting rise of haleem you’ll have to venture out towards Barkas, the erstwhile barracks where Arabian and Yemeni soldiers of the Nizam were stationed. Here they still continue to make daleem, a distant original cousin consisting of similar ingredients but the meat in chunks, unlike haleem.

Is the haleem served in the numerous outlets commercially any different than the ones you get in Hyderabadi homes? Mujtaba Irfan, an entrepreneur who owns Our Food Factory, explains that the biggest distinguishing factor is the quality of meat. The same is echoed by Samyra of Ruheena’s kitchen. An Afghani by descent, she adds that the age of goat, cut of meat and the freshly grounded spices makes all the difference.

Another home chef, Zarina Sha delivers large corporate orders and customises it for her clientele based on their taste preferences.

As the sun sets, people venture out during this month to mark off each place on their list. The competition gets fierce but there’s no denying Hyderabadi’s love for haleem.

— The writer is a well-known food blogger. His Instagram handle is @fooddrifter