As the whole Islam world celebrate the holy month of Ramadan (Ramzan) by observing month-long daylight fasting and breaking it with the evening prayers and Iftar, the Hyderabadis go one step further with consuming Haleem which is quintessential to the city.
Haleem is basically a stew made up of crushed wheat, barley, lentils (or daal) with meat and spices slow cooked for over 8 hours so that is all melts into a thick paste. It is usually served with ghee and fried onions. This stew easy easily digested and has high calories which provides instant energy, which is required after daylong fasting.
What was introduced into the region by the Nizams, slowly it has evolved into a delicacy which is enjoyed by people of all faiths during the month of Ramadan. Pista House are even known for exporting to USA and UAE.
Though primarily meant for Iftar, with the growing popularity all the big restaurants of Hyderabad make it a competition where they have countless volunteers to sell Haleem. There are awards given out and business booms like anything. Though usually served are chicken and mutton variants in most spaces.
Among the other variants I tried, Beef and Mashad Haleems are my most favorite ones. Though you have to go around the city to find them.
A value for money tasty stew that is slowly making a name for itself worldwide. This should be in one person’s bucket list if he or she visits the City of Nizams during the tie of Ramadan.