METRO PLUS

Haleem goes green

IF BIRYANI is the staple of a die-hard Hyderabadi, another delicacy that is relished is the haleem. This traditional wheat porridge has its roots in the Arab Kingdom. Even today mitthi (sweet) and khari (salted) haleem variants are served for breakfast in the homes of the Arabs living in the Barkas area of the twin cities. But in the major city , the salted option is popularly seen during the month of Ramzan--the high-calorie (it contains wheat, various lentils, meat, and ghee) content makes this porridge an ideal meal to break the fast . In the spirit of ganga-jamuni tehzeeb or brotherhood as they say, the entire city also waits for the haleem season, the growing popularity of the dish has roped in postal and now courier services to reach out to the homes of the foodies.

And this year, in order to reach out to the vegetarian connoisseur, the haleem goes green. Yes , the popular preparation takes the new vegan avatar sans any compromise in taste and looks. "We are using the same spices and seasoning. Instead of mutton or chicken, we are using fresh vegetables and dry fruits," says Mohammed Abdul Majeed of Yousufain Pista House, pioneering this unique culinary concept. "People are going vegetarian these days. We observed that, for instance, in a group of four who came to dine with us, two of them ordered from the vegetarian section of the menu. Looking at this trend we decided to make a vegetarian variant of the popular dish for the consumers. It took us six months of trial to bring out the right flavour," he adds.

A bowl of the final product sure looks appetising--carrots, beans and potatoes cooked with pulses and wheat, coarsely ground and garnished with crisp fried onions to be served with a dash of mint and lemon. "The hand blending of the ingredients with massive oar shaped spoons in the degh bring out that consistency and flavour," adds Talat Ibrahim of Pista House Invitation 365.

The vegetarian haleem will be available in options starting from 300 gms (Rs. 35) onwards at Yousufain's Pista House, Shah Ali Banda Road, Charminar, Pista House Invitation 365, opposite Ravindra Bharati and Hang-Out, MPM Mall, Abids, from 4.30 p.m. onwards for takeaways and a la carte for dinner as well. Alternatively, you can avail the courier option. For details contact Tel: 31002718/55107686/87.

SYEDA FARIDA

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