The popularity of this dish can be gauged by the crowds in front of the make-shift joints during evenings or throughout nights.Hyderabad-based Pista House has opened five outlets in the city.

The month of Ramzan triggers Haleem frenzy among the Muslim brethren in the city. The quintessential Hyderabad delicacy took the centrestage in the city a decade ago.

What’s more interesting is that non-Muslims are going gaga over the steaming Haleem which is generally served as the main course at ‘Iftaars’.

The popularity of this dish can be gauged by the crowds in front of the make-shift joints during evenings or throughout nights. “The sale of Haleem begins everyday at 5 p.m. Muslims break their fast not before 6 p.m. which clearly indicates that those who dot the stall before 6 p.m. are non-Muslims,” says Younus, a vendor in One Town area.

Echoing similar feelings, Talluri Sridhar, a joint owner adjacent to Vijayakrishna Super Bazaar, says, “It is a fact that the non-Muslims are making a beeline for the savoury. One can imagine the growing demand: Yesterday, the entire dish was exhausted before 7 p.m.”

Young Sushant, a college-goer, says, “I like this dish as it is delicious. My friends and I eagerly wait for the Ramzan festival only to gorge on the pasty delicacy.” Chandra, his associate adds: “I eat Haleem every day and I skip my dinner during the entire month of Ramzan.”

Says Abdul Basheer of Golden Pavilion in Governorpet: “The number of Haleem lovers, irrespective of religion, has grown tremendously in the city primarily for its nutritious value.”

During the holy month of Ramzan, Muslim brethren go on fast from dawn to dusk and break their fast during Iftaar with the Haleem. This is a high-calorie food. As they fast throughout the day, this dish helps them regain the strength. The healthy ingredients help them stay fit, he explains. Traditionally this pasty stew made of pounded wheat, lentils and mutton is served as a starter at formal dinners, but during Ramzan it becomes the main course at Iftaar – the breaking of the fast.

A good number of makeshift stalls have come up near mosques at Bhavanipuram, Arundalpet, Panja Centre, One Town, and Ashok Nagar etc and they are competing with regular eateries to cater to the seasonal demand. This year, Hyderabad-based Pista House has opened five outlets in the city.

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