Hyderabadi Biryani doesn’t need any introduction, however, Hyderabadi Haleem does need some although not to the people of Hyderabad but to those who are far away from Hyderabad .
As is so far claimed by many great historians, the Hyderabadi Haleem for sure has originated in Saudi Arabia but it garnered all it’s popularity and perfection only in Hyderabad.. This amazing non vegetarian delicacy, with a G I status now, is enjoying global recognition today.
A Few Amazing Facts About The Hyderabadi Haleem
A group of about thousand people from different walks of life in Hyderabad have been very recently interviewed by a Newsline team and were asked to share with the team the experiences they had with the Hyderabadi Haleem…
This group contained about 83% of men and 17% women…All of them are in the age group of 17 to 70 years and these are the facts,about Hyderabadi Haleem, that came out during the survey..
>Eighty percent of the group confessed, “..we tasted Haleem many times in our life..”
>Forty percent of the group said “on an average we eat Haleem about twenty times in a year”.
>53.8 percent of the group said, “..we like Haleem because it’s good for health..” and the other 46.2 percent said, “..we love Haleem for it’s amazing taste…”
But What Is Haleem
Haleem is a rare delicacy made of pounded Goat meat and in some cases Sheep meat…Apart from meat,Haleem also contains many rich spices that not only make Haleem an amazing delicacy to eat but also a very user friendly delicacy that offers many health benefits..
Ramadan is the most important festival for Muslims of the Islamic religion and Haleem is a specially made non vegetarian delicacy that’s served only during this holy month of Ramadan…
According to the Islamic calendar,the ninth month of the year is an auspicious month for all the Muslims around the world during which period,it is believed, the Holy Quran was revealed to humanity..
Hence,as a mandatory custom,most of Muslims all over the world observe strict fasting during the daylight hours of this holy month and in between the Sun rise time and the Sun set time of each day,they do not allow any food or even water touch their tongue..
Finally,after a prayer in the Mosque at the Sun set time,all the Muslims gather outside the Mosque and consume their favorite Haleem which thus becomes the first meal of their day..
Haleem,as is seen in the first photograph,is a kind of sticky substance that’s made of pounded meat to which pure ghee, lentil leaves, nuts,dry fruits and other rich spices are added just to give it that great taste,look and aromatic flavor.
And when all these ingredients are properly pounded together the final mix becomes Haleem,the tastiest and the most mouth watering delicacy on the planet…Irrespective of caste,creed and religion,Hyderabadi Haleem is by and large the most favorite delicacy of millions of people all over India..
History Of Haleem
Although there is no specific data available to establish the credentials of its origin,it is however believed that Haleem is being served for many centuries during the breakfast or dinner time in the royal palaces of Saudi Arabia..
Since it is very rich in spices,proteins,minerals,carbohydrates and essential fatty acids-Haleem is not only being consumed,by the Arab Sultans,for it’s rich aromatic taste but also for it’s amazing aphrodisiac qualities.
The Nizam rulers of the Asaf Jahi dynasty of the erstwhile Hyderabad state were the wealthiest people in the world,during the times of the two world wars, and were known more prominently for their extravagant lifestyle and their enchanting passion for a variety of rich and aromatic foods.
These Nizams used to specially hire expensive cooks from far off places like Afghanistan,Iran and Saudi Arabia just for preparing some rare and spicy non vegetarian delicacies to be served to them during their lunch and dinner times.
These cooks,to please the Nizam’s family,used to prepare a variety of foods and delicacies like Biryani,Kebabs and Haleem…And it is how the world famous G I tagged Hyderabadi Biryani was introduced to the city of Hyderabad followed much later by Haleem.
Initially Hyderabadi Haleem was meant to be served only to the royal families of Hyderabad but with the passing of time it gradually gained huge popularity by making it’s entry into the common man’s house of Hyderabad..
Preparation Of Haleem
Just before the commencement of the holy Ramadan month,almost all the major and minor restaurants in Hyderabad begin their preparations for serving Haleem…
Most of these restaurants are owned by Muslims and at least a sizable portion of them,like the famous Hyderabad House,are owned by the royal families or the chefs of the Nizams of the Hyderabad state.
Just before Ramadan,these hoteliers erect what is called bhatti (first a cauldron will be placed on a huge fire spot and later that cauldron will be completely covered with bricks and soft mud to make it invisible to the customer) right in front of their hotel..
Ingredients In Haleem
In addition to the pounded meat,the Hyderabadi Haleem contains pure ghee, milk, pounded wheat, ginger and garlic paste, lentils; dry fruits like cashew, almonds, pistachios; spices like cloves, cinnamon, black pepper, cumin seeds, caraway seeds (shah zeera) and other natural ingredients like saffron, jaggery, turmeric and allspice (kabab cheeni).
After all these ingredients are added in equal proportion to the pounded meat, piping hot Haleem is prepared and served to the customers…Finally,before it’s served,the Hyderabadi Haleem is again topped up with a specially prepared sherwa (a spicy soup),sliced lime,,fried onions and in some cases boiled eggs too..
And it is this serving that ultimately makes the yummy Hyderabadi Haleem the most sought after non vegetarian delicacy in the Deccan plateau..
Haleem And The Hyderabadi Connection
Barkaas area in the Hyderabad city is a very old colony inhabited mostly by the Afghan and Arab muslims whose ancestors have come to Hyderabad, centuries ago,to serve in the palaces of the Nizam Of Hyderabad. .These families used to consume Haleem throughout the year and should now be given all the credit for introducing it’s flavors to the common man of Hyderabad..
Seventy seven years ago,the historical one hundred and fifty year old Madina Hotel near the Charminar area of Hyderabad was the first hotel to sell Haleem to it’s loyal customers…Later,Shadaab Hotel, Nayaab Hotel, Shehran Hotel (other famous hotels in Hyderabad those days) started selling Haleem,to their customers,during every Ramadan season…
Thereafter,it did not take much time for the famed Hyderabadi Haleem gain global recognition.
Though a plate of Hyderabadi Haleem costs about hundred rupees today,it was actually sold for five paise per plate by the management of the Madina hotel those days…Unfortunately this historical Madina Hotel was closed down forever,after it was gutted in a fire accident in 2008.
Best Restaurants In Hyderabad That Serve Top Quality Haleem
For almost ten years now,Pista House Haleem is the most popular Haleem in Hyderabad today served by the famous Pista House hotel located in the old city area of Hyderabad…
Pista House Haleem is a widely served Haleem in Hyderabad with exclusive sales counters set up by Pista House in almost all the parts of the Hyderabad city during the Ramadan month…
Pista House is also the largest exporters of Hyderabadi Haleem with an annual turnover of more than twenty million U S dollars…On an average,during the holy month of Ramadan,Pista House sells about ten tons of Haleem every day…
In the current season,Pista House proposes to sell Hyderabadi Haleem @ Rs.110 for a plate of 350 grams and Rs.450 for a family pack of one and half kilograms…
Pista House has an understanding with Gati Couriers and delivers Haleem at your doorstep,wherever you are in India…However,please visit the following site for all the rates and other terms and conditions..
Secondly,Sarvi Haleem is served by the Sarvi hotel,located in the plush Banjara Hills area of Hyderabad…During the Ramadan season,the lane in front of this hotel is very difficult to pass through…People come here in large numbers not only to consume Hyderabadi Haleem but also to grab those highly delicious Chicken Malai Kebabs served at this place.
The other very famous City Light Haleem is served by the City Light Hotel,one of the oldest Hotels located in the James Street area of Hyderabad..It is also the only hotel in Hyderabad area that serves the authentic Irani haleem..This is in addition to the Mashad Haleem,a special Haleem made up of rich dry fruits,that is served here..
( Unfortunately the entire three storied building of this sixty year old City Light hotel came down tumbling on the 8th of July,2013 killing seventeen of it’s employees including a very young owner of this hotel…
At the time of collapse,the hotel management was readying heavy Battis on the hotel’s roof top,for the preparation of Haleem this season,and tragically that heavy weight resulted in a complete collapse of this very old building..PERIOD)
Finally,Paradise Haleem is a famed Haleem served by the famous Paradise Hotel in the Secunderabad area of Hyderabad…Whereas all the other hotels in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad are known for serving only high quality Hyderabadi Haleem,the Paradise hotel,however,is also known for it’s authentic Hyderabadi Biryani,Kebabs and other Deccan and Continental dishes…
Many people who frequently visit Hyderabad make it a part of their itinerary to pay a special visit to this hotel just for a taste of that famous Hyderabadi Biryani….
VVIPs,diplomats,celebrities,various sports personalities,business tycoons and many heads of nations very often visit this hotel to taste the famous Kebabs and Hyderabadi Biryani served here..
Almost all these hotels have an online presence today and just in case you want them to send you the amazing Hyderabadi Haleem by courier,you may Google with the above given details..
The Popularity And Status Of Hyderabadi Haleem Today
According to an estimate,the 2012 Ramadan season in Hyderabad had about six thousand eateries that served Haleem. ..All these eateries put together did a whopping business of $100 million in one single month…It may be surprising to know that 28% of the Haleem prepared in 2012 was exported to more than fifty countries.
With a very vast global popularity,the Hyderabadi Haleem is recognized today as an international delicacy and is quite rightfully awarded the Geographical Indication Status by the government of India’s office of the GIS registry. ..
With this recognition the Hyderabadi Haleem officially becomes the first non vegetarian delicacy from India to be awarded the GIS status…
Undoubtedly Paradise Haleem…Not only for it’s amazing taste but also for the variety of spices and nuts the hotel specially adds to it…With a dash of thick sherwa (a sort of a specially made spicy soup) this Paradise Haleem is a rare delicacy that’s worth relishing any number of times..
If you are a foodie and you think you have a great appetite for rich foods; then come to Hyderabad and go straight to Paradise Hotel; have a plate of Haleem first and then order for a Biryani (Mutton or Chicken but both are great)…If you still wish-you may also try a few very famous varieties of Paradise Kebabs there..
Haleem is a special delicacy prepared by well trained experts,therefore,do not try preparing it,on your own,by following a few recipes you find on web…It’s like an inexperienced young Cricketer chancing his arms,in a local match, against the world’s fastest bowler after watching Sachin Tendulkar doing that in an international match..