He never misses the Ramzan ritual

63-year-old Ahmed Ali Khan arrives in Hyderabad from United States to sell haleem at his Hotel Diamond. He leaves to United States after celebrating Ramzan in the capital. PHOTO: NAGARA GOPAL  

Tales of haleem aficionados going to great lengths to savour the dish, introduced by Iranians to the city, are dime a dozen.

Matching their passion for the dish and making an equal effort to offer them the right taste and quality is Ahmed Ali Khan, proprietor of Diamond Café opposite Ek Minar Masjid in Nampally.

Come Ramzan, the 60-plus ‘young man’ crosses the seven seas and heads home from Chicago to monitor the preparation and sale of haleem at his family hotel.

Coming to Hyderabad during the month of Ramzan is an annual practice for Mr. Khan, at least for the last one decade.

“By the first of Ramzan I am in the city and fly back the next day of Id to Chicago,” he says.

Special leave

Mr. Khan, who works for a company in Chicago, takes a one-month special leave and comes to the city. If you think the earnings at the hotel might be drawing him here, then it is not so. “It is no match to what I earn in Chicago. Moreover, I spend a significant amount on travel too. My visit is just to keep the family tradition with the hotel going,” he says.

The hotel was set up by his ancestors who migrated from Iran some 80 years ago and the hotel began offering haleem some 40 years ago. “We sold a plate of haleem for one rupee then,” he reminisces.

The most important aspect for making a good haleem is the right proportion of quality ingredients like meat, wheat, pulses, garam masala, and ghee, he says. “We stick to the traditional way and it takes about 11 hours to prepare it,” Mr. Khan explains.

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Printable version | Oct 25, 2021 1:15:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/he-never-misses-the-ramzan-ritual/article5000342.ece

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