In the background sirens resonate as the sun sets in Hyderabad. The sirens announce the sighting of the moon during the holy month of Ramzan
which is the time for self purification, devotion and penance; a time to observe the month long fast (Roza
) in anticipation of Id-Ul-Fitr. The siren also announces the breaking of the fast with the commencement of Iftar
During Ramzan, after the evening prayer, every devotee awaits the arrival of a sumptuous Hyderabadi delicacy Haleem which is a generous mix of wheat, ghee and meat (beef, mutton or chicken) mixed for over eight hours with cashew, raisins, garlic paste and spices and garnished with freshly cut onions and lime. Haleem is available in both meethi (sweet) and khari (salty) variety.
For the aficionados of Haleem here is a list of restaurants which serve the best variety in Hyderabad.
All the restaurants known for their Biryanis also serve some of the best Haleem. The secret to their success is the authentic taste and the recipes which have been passed on from generations. This includes Madina Hotel
(Patterghatti, Charminar) which catered to the Nizams as well. It serves reasonably priced sumptuous Haleem,
and is known to have had celebrity clients like Salman Khan, Aamir Khan and Allu Arjun too. Then there’s Shadab Hotel,
where you get one of the richer varieties of Haleem with a generous amount of cashews and rich pieces of meat. The hotel is so crowded during Iftar that it is difficult to find a place to stand.
You should also try the Pista House.
Though it is headquartered in Charminar the Haleem
is available in almost every nook and corner of Hyderabad with strategically placed stalls. One of its specialties is the Vegetarian Haleem
which substitutes the meat with dry fruits. Pista House is an ISO 9002 company and the Haleem
they serve is available at every post office across Hyderabad. They also have a Haleem
by post service which extends the delivery across India and to places in Europe and even the United States. One can also order the Haleem
online to be delivered to the desired location. Talk about Hyderabadi Haleem
Some old favourites also include Niagara Hotel in Chaderghat and Basheerbagh
which serves the most aromatic Haleem.
For those living in Secunderabad area, Paradise
could be a good option for its interesting varieties of Haleem. It has a special chicken mutton mixed Haleem
and the special boneless Haleem.
They also have a special parcel counter at the Hyderabad airport for all the air travellers. Those closer to Assembly Road, could try Nizam Club.
This is available only to its members but the cooks at the club have been featured on national news networks and on travel and lifestyle channels. It is also one of the places where Haleem
is served every Friday all year round. So if you happen to know a member of the club, you should give it a try.
on Road No. 1, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad has the best Haleem combo meals (akin to a fast food restaurant). Cold Drinks, French Fries, pastries and ice-creams you name it and there is a combo available. Four Seasons
has also earned a reputation for serving some of the best Haleem with a traditional touch. This place is packed till the wee hours of the morning. They also have the largest serving amongst the other restaurants.
Other Notable Mentions
at Secunderabad Railway Station is the ideal place to take a travel parcel for an overnight journey. Café Bahar
at Hyderguda / Himayat Nagar
has a combo meal with a soft drink and dessert (khubani ka meetha with ice cream).
There are also chains like Kababish
in locations like Medhipatnam, Lakdikapul, Pathergatti, Himayatnagar, Chaderghat, Tolichowki etc that serve Haleem. Hyderabad House
also serves Haleem with various combos including Khubani ka Meetha, Double ka Meetha, Cool Drinks and Ice Creams. Hotel Adaab
and Hotel Rainbow
in Nampally also serve Haleem all the year round and now offer special boneless cashew Haleem.
The Secunderabad Club and Fateh Maidan Club also serve Haleem at much lower prices during Ramzan wihtout compromising on the taste, hygiene and quality. Firdaus
at Taj Krishna, Kebabs and Kurries
at ITC Kakatiya Sheraton, The Coffee Shop at Novotel
at the JW Marriott also have different variations of Haleem on offer suited to international tastes (read: less spicy).
Do let us know if you have been to any other good Haleem
joint as well. Look forward to your comments.
Updated on 25 Aug, 2009