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September 19, 2007 / lazybug

Ramzaan – It’s Haleem Time in Hyderabad!

It’s that time of the year again when I eagerly await the clock to strike 6 Pm so that I can rush to one of the Irani cafes and devour a plate of Haleem which is ‘goat meat mashed with wheat and spices, served with garnishing of ghee, coriander and fried onions’. I am told that the word literally means ‘patience’ in Arabic. This is very apt considering the fact that it takes one whole day of cooking to prepare the perfect Haleem for the starving Muslims of Hyderabad during the holy month of Ramzaan, also known as Ramadan. Since I am not a Muslim, I am spared the starving, but not the Haleem. What fun!


The excitement for Haleem is heightened by the fact that it’s available only during Ramzaan. It’s that one month only when you get to taste this heavenly delicacy. I therefore make sure that eat Haleem at as many different joints as possible. Though the recipe is the same, there is a lot of variation in the taste, this is mainly because of the quantity of spices mixed in the Haleem.

It could be anywhere between medium spicy to very spicy, but it’s never too hot. My favourite Haleem-serving joints (not necessarily in this order) in Hyderabad are:

  • Bawarchi (medium spicy)
  • Bahar (spicy)
  • Garden (spicy)
  • Pista House (slightly spicy)
  • Hy-line (spicy)
  • Niagara (medium spicy)

Unfortunately, due to some vehicle parking restrictions being imposed by the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation, Bawarchi is not serving Haleem this year. This is very sad and a gross injustice towards Haleem-lovers. Hope the problem is solved soon.

It’s also interesting to note that Haleem is not available anywhere else in India. I have asked several of my Muslim friends from other cities if they have had Haleem and almost always the reply is negative. This delicacy is a speciality of Hyderabad just like the Hyderabadi Biryani. My ideal dinner during the month of Ramzaan is Haleem followed by Biryani. I get to eat this combination on Sundays. On other days it’s just Haleem. slurrrp!



Leave a Comment
  1. Prasanthi / Sep 19 2007 1:31 pm

    oh God! Please give the people (atleast my friends) a reason to remember me when they see Haleem in their plates and a thought to give me my share 😉

  2. Chittaranjan / Sep 19 2007 2:54 pm

    Pista House mein Veg. Haleem bhi Miltaa…par har roz mere jaane se pehleich khatam hojaata 😦

    My Friend is ‘courier-ing’ 2 kgs of Haleem to his hometown….. 😛

  3. Liju Philip / Sep 24 2007 5:55 am

    Haleem…Yummy. Good to see a fellow Hyderabadi’s blog.

    and of all things to read an article there on Haleem. Sigh…how i miss Hyd.

  4. assemkhan / Oct 1 2007 10:45 am

    Hmm, we make all this at home and Ive hardly had Haleem from a hotel (We call it kichda in poona) .

  5. oxygenchameleon / Apr 21 2008 3:00 pm

    Haleem is amazing… i’m craving it now! 😦 .. i was in Hyderabad last summer, it’s a fabulous city! x

  6. lazybug / Apr 21 2008 5:58 pm

    Thank you for the comment, Oxygenchameleon. Haleem is amazing–totally agree!

  7. aziz / Aug 21 2008 3:07 pm

    every one be ready a lots of karizma is going to come in hyderabad due to one of the finest and pure month of islam that is ramzan…. every one may god bless u in an auspicious month of ramzan

  8. Syed Asif Ali / Sep 3 2008 6:29 pm

    Pista House is my Favorite restaurant, i had never missed Haleem from last 4 yrs, but this year i don’t want to miss it, god help my father & friends to send haleem.

  9. Zillaide Zimbo / Sep 16 2008 12:19 am

    Wow!!!! Haleem… Yummy.. i love the taste.. especially Pista house in old city… awesome taste…. i love that…..

  10. Mustaf / Sep 2 2009 3:05 pm

    You made me rememeber those time I spent in Hyderabad and I can’t imagine my ramzan iftar without the Haleem. Whatever my mother used to prepare for the iftari, Haleem was a must for me. And when I came to Pune last year, I search Haleem frantically without any result.

    And I don’t know about any other cities, but Haleem is also available in Kolkata, too though the preparation and the taste is quite different there

  11. wasim / Nov 5 2009 5:40 am

    ramzan me hydrabad ka haleem ka taste different rahta.i also wait for dat time


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