The saga behind Haleem

The saga behind Haleem

Haleeeeeeeemmmmm...... yes, our mouth starts watering by just hearing its name!

Haleeeeeeeemmmmm...... yes, our mouth starts watering by just hearing its name!

Haleem is a lip-smacking porridge of dalia, a variety of dals, mutton or chicken, spices, dry fruits and ghee.

It has become our favourite dish in Ramadan. We wait for the sunset to dig into this delicious dish. Somehow the month of fasting has turned into the month of feasting J. From dawn to dusk all of us fast and dusk to dawn we feast. You will find kabab, dahi-vada, bhajia, samosas, chakna, jalebi, lemonade, fresh fruit salad and of course dates. Although, you will see Haleem ruling the iftar. *Iftar (Break Fast) is the evening meal with which Muslims end their daily Ramadan fast at sunset.

The arrangements for the preparation of Haleem get started before the moon is sighted, even before Ramadan month actually begins. Brick kilns are assembled at every Haleem joints. They are decorated with lights and qawwalis are played aloud to let everyone know about the joint. Not only who are fasting but people from all walks of life hop on this delicious dish.

Have you ever wondered how this protein-rich, filling and the easily digestible dish became part of our delicacy? In India, it is called Haleem whereas in the Middle East it is known as Harees.

Haleem is believed to be an Arabian dish. We Hyderabadis owe it to the Arabians who brought this delicacy to India when the Nizams were ruling.

The sixth Nizam, Mehbub Ali Khan introduced this Arabian dish to the royal menu. The seventh Nizam, Mir Osman Ali Khan included Haleem into the traditional Hyderabadi cuisine. An Arab chief from Yemen and a courtier in the regime of Mir Osman Ali Khan, Saif Nawaz Jung Bahadur made Haleem popular as a genuine flavour of the city.

Then slowly it changed into a dish with a combination of local spices and ingredients that got blended into the taste of Hyderabad.

We Hyderabadis have developed an unbreakable bond with Haleem, which actually binds us together.

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