There are times when I don’t have anything to write, blame it to the work that I haven’t been able to travel and explore much. I have numerous ways to overcome that (have mentioned in the past too). Things like going through old photos, going out and observing things outside, reading or listening to something are a good way to sow the seed for you to write. On the same lines, I walked out to the terrace of my house and stood there observing the crowd due to Ramzan. I stay close to a mosque and hence the area is way too crowded during Ramzan especially during the Iftaar hours. There are shops selling fruits, samosas, Biryani and obviously Haleem.
When I first moved to Hyderabad, I did learn about this amazing – world-famous – dish that is prepared only during the holy month of Ramzan. No prize for guessing, I’m talking about Haleem. This traditional dish is prepared from Mutton / Chicken (Mutton is loved more here) and is laced with dry fruits and ghee. Usually served with hot rotis, Haleem is a must when you are in Hyderabad. Wait a minute, I’m a vegetarian Foodie and I’m sure many of you would be curious to know whether Vegetarian Haleem exists or not. It does !
Veg Haleem in Hyderabad during Ramzan
Just like most of the curious vegetarian folks, I too wanted to try the vegetarian version of Haleem (Yes Yes, have a good laugh !) Veg Haleem is made from daliya / broken wheat. During Ramzan, you will find lots of eateries selling Haleem, and apparently everyone has the Best Haleem. However after some learning, I realised that Pista House is famous for Haleem in the city. That’s it, the next day while returning from office, I walked in to a newly opened Pista House outlet in Gachibowli. The waiters rush towards you right from the road itself, and I’ve read there are thousands of people coming to Hyderabad to fill the gap between waiters and diners during Ramzan.
I went to the counter and asked for Veg Haleem. I’m glad that the person didn’t laugh. Within no time, I got a plastic container with Haleem. The only doubt, the packet and the container had a photo of a sheep. So my parents didn’t try it. I came home, opened the box just to see oil and dry fruits. Got some hot roits to go with it. The first bite, well it was way too greasy and slimy. The taste ? Awful, I mean it barely had any taste. It felt more like dry fruits in a brownish, oily gravy. I was brave enough to try a couple of spoons before I gave it to the watchman to finish it.
First Experience of Veg Haleem – Not so Good
That was the first and last time I ate Veg Haleem in Hyderabad. Pista House is one of the world-famous restaurant and if that place serves such bad Veg Haleem, I surely wouldn’t want to try it. I know many of you reading this would be having a good laugh, but that’s how it is. Vegetarian Biryani is a different league, but Veg Haleem different story all together. Have you tried Veg Haleem ? Did you like it ? Share your experience in the comments below or tweet to me @Atulmaharaj