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‘Haleem’ a favourite during Ramadan

Biryani may be Hyderabad’s signature dish, but even the world-famous delicacy takes a back seat during the holy month of Ramadan in favour of haleem, a porridge-like dish made of wheat, lentils and meat.

Such is the preference for haleem during Ramadan that no other dish even comes close in terms of popularity, taste and sale. To just give you an idea, the sale of haleem during Ramadan last year fetched over Rs 500 crore.

Though the mouth-watering dish is a regular on the menu in many Muslim weddings and is also available round the year at a few city hotels, it’s only during the fasting month that it is in great demand.

It’s not just the Muslims but people from other communities as well eagerly await Ramadan to relish their favourite dish.

Young techies can be seen savouring the delicacy at many outlets of major hotels. Thousands of customers throng outlets across the city from around 5 p.m. till well past midnight to taste haleem.

Those travelling abroad or to different destinations within the country don’t forget to pick up a few packets of haleem for their relatives and friends.

‘Bhattis’ or brick-and-mud ovens in front of hotels across Hyderabad are a common sight during the holy month. And so are chefs engaged in the laborious process of making the sumptuous dish in large vessels cemented on the traditional ovens.

They can be seen pounding the meat in vessels with large wooden poles. The entire cooking process, which takes 10 to 12 hours, is done on firewood.

Haleem is originally an Arabic dish, which is said to have come to India via Iran and Afghanistan.

“The Legendary Cuisine of Persia”, a highly acclaimed cookbook, traces the origin of haleem to the 6th century Persian king Khusrow.

A chef from Yemen is said to have first prepared the dish, also called “harees” or “harissa” in Arab countries, for the then Nizam of Hyderabad in 1930. Subsequently, some Irani hotels started selling it here.

About Editor in chief

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.

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