Haleem is synonymous with Ramadan as it’s with Hyderabad. Originally considered to be an Arabic dish, made of meat, wheat flour, spices and ghee, it is said to have come to Hyderabad during the Mughal period via Iran and Afghanistan. It remained an integral part of Hyderabad due to the Nizam rule.
Over a period of time local influence brought in modifications and changes in the original recipe and made Hyderabadi Haleem distinct from other types of Haleem available today.
Although it is prepared in other cities of India (I had it in Mumbai and its just ok ok) as well during Ramadan but by and large the Hyderabadi Haleem remains the preeminent!
The conventional method of cooking Haleem is to cook on a low flame of firewood for 12 hours in a bhatti (a cauldron covered with brick & mud kiln). One or two men, usually, mix it thoroughly with large wooden sticks throughout its preparation, until it gets to a sticky-smooth consistency, similar to mashed mince.
Hyderabadi Hallem is a type of meat stew made from pounded wheat and mutton made into thick paste and served freshly hot with crispy fried onions and lemon juice. is equally popular with everyone just like its other dish, the Hyderabadi Biryani. It’s usually eaten during Iftaar.
Look out for the bhattis across the city, especially near/next to a masjid, besides accessible at assorted irani hotels.
The ones to look out for are: hotel 555, Sarvi, Pista House, Shah Ghouse and Shadab
Remember it’s AVAILABLE and CHERISHED in Hyderabad only during Ramadan.
Over a period of time the Haleem has gained its prominence as starters at Muslim weddings and other celebrations.
It is estimated that during Ramadan, Hyderabad eateries sell 1 billion worth of haleem.
This is because Hyderabadis cannot survive Ramzan without Haleem. It is a matter of habit.