Sunday, August 26, 2012

Haleem Chronicles!

Haleem! Just typing the word is inspiring fountains in my mouth and I fear I might regret writing this post after the Haleem season is over.

For the uninitiated, Haleem is a rich, thick stew of wheat, meat (usually lamb or chicken), lentils, spices, dry fruits and lots of pure ghee. Traditionally, haleem is cooked on a low flame of firewood for up to 12 hours in a bhatti. One or two men stir it  (pound it would be more precise) continuously with huge wooden paddles throughout its preparation, until it reaches a sticky-smooth consistency. In Hyderabad, it is only available during the Ramzan month and it is devoured by all those who maintain a day long fast and those others who have nothing to do with the fast but are just slaves to this sinful preparation.

This Ramzan I decided to take a Haleem tour of Hyderabad and it was one of the best experiences my mouth has ever had. Here are the places I visited and how I felt about them:-

Special Haleem at Green Bawarchi
1) Green Bawarchi (Srinagar Colony):- My first Haleem of the season. I really like this one actually, the special Haleem comes topped with mutton shorba, chicken shreds, loads of dry fruit and a full boiled egg.  Not too greasy, just spicy enough, this haleem comes close to perfection for me.

2) City Light Hotel (R P road):- This little joint is on my way back home from work and everyday I see its twinkly lights and big bright posters announcing 'Mashad Haleem for the first time in India'. I couldnt resist the lure, but I wish I had. The Haleem was incredibly full of ghee, bland and very cinnamony.  Not what I liked.

3) Shadab (Madina) :- Well, it will remain a regret that I was not able to go to this famed restaurant near Charminar to try the Haleem, but some lovely friends of mine brought the Haleem to me. It was delicious, spicy and not too greasy. Felt it was a little too meaty for me though.

4) Shah Ghouse (Toli chowki) : The Haleem from this place is legendary and my colleagues feel that it is the best Haleem in town, so what option did I have other than trying it with them. This Haleem was divine, absolutely divine. Would recommend it to anyone. Beware though as their serving size is quite large and you need a strong stomach to do justice to it.

5) Paradise (Secunderabad) : Their hoarding says that their Haleem is 'arguably the best Haleem in town' and to prove that it is not only their opinion, they also won the Times of India Haleem and Biryani contest 2012, but surprise surprise I hated it and so did my sister. It was presented beautifully, but it was greasy, not well spiced and felt to me like a bland meaty stew. You may however want to take popular opinion on this and ignore mine.

Paradise Haleem
6) Garden restaurant (SD road, Secunderabad) : This my friends, was my introduction to Haleem and continues to remain my favourite Haleem in the city. Fabulous, fuss free haleem, full of black pepper corns, topped with a generous spoon ful of shorba and chopped fried onions and corriander. I love it. Its spicier than any other Haleem I have eaten and I will crave it for a whole year now.

My beloved Garden Restaurant Haleem.


  1. WOW! so yummy. Need Ramzan to come again and again..

    Love Garden. HATE Paradise.

    1. And popular opinion sucks mostly. :p I rather take yours :p

    2. Haha!! Im quite sure it is rigged!!! Paradise was horrible.

  2. When I wrote a post on iftari in Delhi I was thinking about Shadab. Infact a friend commented on the post about the Hyderabadi Haleem she had. Thanks to your post now I am craving for the spicy Haleem from Shadab

    1. Thanks for reading Itiriti.

      I ended up craving the Haleem myself. Bad idea to write a post about Haleem when it is no longer available.

  3. LOVE LOVE LOVE the Garden Haleem!!

    Delicious article D! Not a good one to read when I have those cravings!!

  4. Oh! Ahmedabad might not have as much Haleem as Hyderabad, but I had the most amazing Iftari here during Ramzan. MMMMM.... it was DELISH!!

    1. We should do an Ahmedabadi Ramzan together sometime!!!

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