Set in the midst of southern part of India, Nawabi City Hyderabad is not only famous for yummy biryani, Irani chai and pearls but even for its uncompromisingly delicious Haleem. Available only for forty days, in Ramzan season, Haleem is an important dish that paved way into the hearts of hardcore Hyderabadis.
A general walk in the bustling streets of Hyderabad in the evening hours will introduce you to small illuminated tents erected on big ovens. Usually found in every nook and corner of the city, these are places where you get the yummy Haleem.
If you are wondering what Haleem is all about, then let us tell you that it’s a non-vegetarian Hyderabadi dish prepared with chicken/mutton, wheat flour and lentils. The crushed meat is put into the oven and cooked for nearly ten hours while adding up the spices and flour. Haleem specialists beat this dish with logs while its under preparation to ensure that the meat is mixed with flour and mentils. After properly cooked, it becomes a porridge. Fried onions and shorba (thick soup) are added to make the dish even more tastier.
How did Haleem enter Hyderabad?
The origin of Haleem came from the term Harissa. The latter is a middle-eastern dish that was apparently a favourite dish of Prophet Mohammed. Harees (Harissa) and Haleem are more or less similar just that extra pinch of masalas and lentils go into Haleem to make it distinct.
When Bahamanis (Qutub Shahis) invaded Golconda and defeated Kakatiyas in 11th century, they constructed a fortified wall around Golconda Fort and made Hyderabad (Chechalam then) their home. It was then, they brought along n number of delicacies with them out of which Irani Tea and Haleem are quintessential habits they introduced to this part of India.
After the fall of Bahamanis, Asaf Jahis (Nizams) ruled Hyderabad. Haleem was made popular by Nizams, especially during the seventh and last Nizam—Osman Ali Khan’s regime.
While meat itself is considered to be a healthy dish with sufficient proteins in it, when it’s mixed with ground wheat and cooked with lentils and masalas for nearly ten hours—the amount of proteins that will go into this dish is unimaginable. It’s predominantly cooked during fasting season so that people who fast in the day time can boost their adrenaline levels.
Ideal places in Hyderabad:
Given the popularity of Haleem, which is fast catching up amongst people of all ages and regions, all top notch restaurants serve Haleem.
However, there are some unique places where you pamper your taste buds without hurting your pockets.
Shadab Hotel, near Charminar
Madina Hotel, Charminar
Pista House, Charming
Bahar Cafe, Basheerbagh
Niagara Hotel, Malakpet
Y2K Restaurant, Punjagutta
Shah House, Shalibanda
Deccan Emu Haleem, Golconda
Fish Haleem-Saleem Function Hall, Lakdikapool
Apart from these Haleem specialists, hundreds of outlets popped up everywhere in the city do serve this chicken porridge. While a single serving will cost you around hundred bucks, you can get a family pack for Rs. 500.
So, don’t miss Haleem when you happen to visit Hyderabad during Ramzan because it’s said ‘your trip to Hyderabad is incomplete without tasting Haleem!’