"It is a tedious and an important task to see that the fish is boneless. The first stage of checking for bones happens when the live murrel fish is bought and made ready", Md Arif Uddin Haleem, chef
As one approaches Masab Tank from Lakdi-ka-Pul, banners of ‘Fish Haleem’ screaming for attention at Saleem mansion Function Palace cannot be missed. Step inside function hall and you are warmly welcomed. Inside, Md. Arif Uddin, head chef and proprietor is more than pleased to inform interested customers about the goodness of fish haleem.
Md Arif Uddin informs us, “I have a chain of paan shops and in between I also forayed into the business of restaurants. I had started a sea food speciality restaurant long back but due to losses the restaurant had to be shut down and I went back to my business of paans,” explains Arif.
The idea of foraying into the business of restaurants occurred when Arif saw success in his first-time idea of fish haleem, “It was 2007 when I launched it at Tolichowki and it was a huge success. But due to the losses incurred in my restaurant business, I couldn’t restart the idea,” says Arif.
Arif is happy that after 2007, he is able to bring out fish haleem once again and the response has been overwhelming. Arif talks about maintaining hygiene, controlling the fish smell and most importantly making it 100 percent boneless. “It is a tedious and an important task to see that the fish is boneless. The first stage of checking happens when the live murrel fish is bought and made ready. After that the fish is screened again for bones in the kitchen before it is made ready to be cooked,” explains.
He offers fish haleem and on tasting it turns out to be no different from the regular non-veg haleem made from lamb or chicken. The only difference is that, “fish haleem is slightly runny to taste as sticking to the old belief of not mixing fish and milk we do not add milk to the haleem. Milk added in mutton and chicken haleem makes the consistency more heavy bodied,” explains Arif.
To make people aware of the goodness of fish, Arif’s coloured leaflets lists benefits from eating fish.
(I am is a weekly feature on men and women who make Hyderabad what it is)