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Hyderabadi Haleem

Last Update : 31st March 2018

We felt that most of the lists for the best Haleems across Hyderabad have never been updated. Some of the outlets have ceased to exist while others rely on crowd sourcing. A personal opinion in compiling an extensive list has been lacking. So I’ve taken on the task to have at least 30 Haleems this year to provide an updated list of places in Hyderabad. Kindly note the word ‘personal opinion’ and all of these have been personally tasted and compiled.

The Ramzan month especially heralds the start of our “Iftaar Walks”. If you haven’t signed up yet, all of the event details have been posted on the FoodDrifter facebook page.

1. Pakwaan Grand : If there was an award for consistency, these guys deserve it more than anyone else. It’s been 3 years since I’ve had my Haleem here and they have blown my mind every single time. I mean just look at that plate of Mashad Haleem. The recipe uses chunks of mutton with minimal bones. The result is a much meatier and flavorful Haleem than anyone else. Generously added on top are Ghee, Cream, Fried Onions, Pistachios, Cashews and Lime. It had come very close to being the No. 1 on our list last year. This year it might just be?

Mashad Haleem priced at Rs 180/-

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2. Simply South, Filmnagar : One of my favorite Haleems of last year. In fact they’ve been so consistent with their Haleem that I drop by for a visit no matter what. A makeshift traditional handi over firewood is made at the back of the kitchen. All of the spice mix is hand pounded and the Haleem made using the traditional recipe.

This year Simply South has tweaked the grain to make it a different variant of white broken wheat. This lends it a much darker shade due to the spices and meat. The recipe is more of the Nizami style with a great flavor profile coming off the peppercorns and cinnamon. Its quite a huge quantity, enough for two people. Served alongside are the fresh lime wedges, mint, fried onions and cashews.

Priced at 450 AI

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3. SodaBottleOpenerwala : A Gyarah Haleem fest which started off last year with great success has been recreated this year too. Expanded to include an outside stall for the showcase of all the Gyarah Handis, they’ve gone on to make nearly 3 veg variants.

But Haleem and vegetarian, two words which shouldn’t be used in the same sentence. In fact I’d go nowhere close to the Chicken one too. But they should be awarded high marks for the Duck, Turkey and Prawns variants. Absolutely nowhere would you be able to get such varieties. But my standard order as always went for the Persian Haleem. Their Persian Haleem till date remains an absolute favorite of mine among the Gyarah Handi. Mild on spices, a nice little wheatish color and the strings of mutton that I can feel with every spoonful. They’ve now tweaked their Irani Haleem too.

Persian Mutton Haleem Price – Rs 400/-

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4. Peshawar Restaurant, Lakdikapul : I was quite excited to try the Haleem at Peshawar despite the fact that this is the first time they’ve put a stall. The restaurant has slowly but steadily become one of my favorites in the city. The Nalli Barrah, Chapli Kebabs and Biryani are some of the best you can entice your tastebuds with.

But we’re here to talk about the Haleem, aren’t we? Mild on spices with beautiful chunks of mutton in every bite. They’ve done a very good balancing act between placing the taste between a homemade Haleem and a commercial one.

I’d make do without the whole peppercorns which seem to appear once in a while. The texture is lovely and also ain’t that rich that you can’t slurp down a bowl.

Priced at Rs 150/-

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5. Al-Saba, Gachibowli : Imagine having one of the most worst tasting Haleems that you vowed never to return back to the place. Well that was Al-Saba for me once upon a time. To this day I look at the place while driving across and think “What do people even like over there?”

But this year I’ve gone back to pushing away my earlier notions of the past and giving old haunts another chance. And I’m glad this led me back to Al-Saba. For all the people who live towards Gachibowli, do yourself a favor and chuck the Shah Ghouse and Pista Houses. Al-Saba is actually so so much better. Plus I really really liked the fact that they were patient in explaining it to a Haleem newbie with a smile when the person beside me enquired about it. The refill of brown onions and mint was given to whoever asked. And most importantly there was no Sherwa but gher which they dolloped on top. It has definitely won me over.

Priced at Rs 140/-

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6. Cafe Bahar : There is something about going back to the oldest cafes in Hyderabad. An underlying reason as to why such legendary places continue to survive despite the expansion of the rest. Cafe Bahar for me is one such. Their Biryani till date is one of my favorites.

But its their Haleem which has remained consistent too year after year. There is no over the top marketing or combos offered. Other than the pet bottle of pepsi you get free with you Haleem, one that they’ve been giving for years now.

The Haleem is still great, the person at the counter still smiles as he hands me over a bowl. And neither do they object when I ask for a refill of some fried onions on top. People park their vehicles, have a quick bowl and go about their way. Cafe Bahar continues to be a legend in its own way.

Priced at Rs 140 with a free 250ml of Pepsi

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7. Ohri’s Group : Ohri’s Group of restaurants have a lovely iftaar platter across few of their outlets with Jauzi Halwa, Dates, Lukmi and Haleem.

The Haleem was quite flavorful and rich. Doesn’t go overboard with the spices and maintains consistency. Infact, I did keep some in the refrigerator to be had the next day. And my morning breakfast consisted of Toasted Bread with a spread of Haleem. Has anyone tried it this way? Also btw Haleem on Pizza is the absolute BEST.

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8. Hotel Nayaab : And diving right back into our Haleem stories is this one from Hotel Nayaab. A little spicy, very peppery and overall a great texture.

Hotel Nayaab is one of the initial Cafes which started serving Haleem commercially. What was supposed to a breakfast dish soon became a Ramzan special coz of the preparation time and heaviness of the dish.

Priced at Rs 150/-

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9. Cafe 555, Masab Tank : First up is the legendary Cafe 555. You’d imagine that this Irani Cafe which was a favorite of mine 2-3 years ago and still does good numbers would be making delicious Haleem. Sadly not, 3 spoons down and I couldn’t have it anymore. The bones were minimal but it was just damn spicy. I actually kept getting whole peppercorns in my mouth.

The ratio of meat has significantly reduced. And they really need to clean up the place, its much dirtier than I remember it to be. Its just the start of Ramzan so hopefully they take care of this as the month progresses. The sherwa was still great though. They are really famous for their special Haleem which is topped up with Chicken 65, Zubaan and a boiled egg. Top it with anything, but if your base ain’t good. It just doesn’t work then. Enjoyable but a shadow of it’s former self.

Bowl of Haleem – Rs. 160/-                                          Special Haleem – Rs. 300/-

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10. Hotel Sohail :This year it has been a bit disappointing of sorts when it comes to the Haleems at the legendary outlets.

Maybe its that the newer entrants have upped their game. Or the fact that I’ve been having some really good stuff as of late. I mean don’t get me wrong, the Haleem from Hotel Sohail was nice.

But you know the feeling that it could have been so much better. They top up the Haleem with two types of ghee. One in which onions had been fried and one the regular. Good stuff though.

Priced at Rs 150/-

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11. Hotel Shahran : Another one among the Haleems from Old City. I should really stick to either the Boti or Seekh Kebabs with Warqi Paratha.

The Haleem is definitely not their strong suit. In fact they were so much better last year. All I could feel in mouth was fat from the mutton. Entirely coated my throat making it hard to swallow another spoonful. This is one money which could have been better spent elsewhere.

Priced at Rs 150/-

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12. Shahi Dastarkhwan, Lakdikapul : When located in front of better ones as the newly opened Peshawar and Chicha’s , you really need to pick up your socks to make a very very good Haleem.

But sadly Shahi Dastarkhwan didn’t really put that to any use in their Handi. None of the large LEDs, bright enough to replace the street lights will be able to get in customers if you’re product isn’t good.

The Haleem is very pasty where the broken wheat’s taste overpowers the taste of meat. Also it doesn’t help that they have a large number of whole peppercorns.

Priced at Rs 160/-

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It’s been almost 5 years now that I’ve moved to Hyderabad and it’s safe to say now that the city has embraced me completely. With Ramzan now here, the city is decked up with flickering lights, Haleem in every nook and corner of the city’s alleyways and gorgeous street food.

The first time when I had come visiting Hyderabad during the Ramzan season, my parents who were strict conservationists kept my away from having my Haleem. It was more of the thought of mixing Beef with Mutton in any of the Haleems served across the city. But they’ve now given up on after hearing of the endless tryst with different meats from across the world.

So approximately 5 years back is when I had my first taste of the dish that I had heard so much about. It’d be safe to say that it was the worst thing I ever had in my freaking life. It was in one word – Yuck. I gave up on the worst looking dish ever made on earth. Needless to say that whole month of Ramzan that year was spent eating everything else but Haleem.

Then arrived 2012 and by then I had made a number of Hyderabadi friends. With Ramzan arrived a fresh batch of homemade Haleem by one my friend’s mom. Falteringly I took my best bite and my completely perspective of the entire dish changed with that bite. It was exquisite, smooth and full of flavor. I literally still can’t comprehend how a dish which looks like it had been thrown up after an after-party, taste so good. Then started my Haleem quest in Hyderabad. From literally visiting each eatery to try their fare to becoming a self-confessed expert critic at it. Also a point to note is that the original Haleem just like the Kacchi Gosht ki Biryani tastes nothing like the ones made commercially.

Haleem at point in the city was served 365 days of the year. But there was a lot of time and patience that went into making the dish and also the heaviness of it. It was then that it got relegated to being a Ramzan only special. Hotel Nayaab was the first to start serving Haleem commercially in the hotel before the rest picked it up. The now famous Pista House was instrumental in getting the GI tag for Haleem for Hyderabad. It’s now become as much a part of the city as the Charminar itself.

As the city progresses, so does it’s cuisine. Restaurants started serving variants like the Emu, Fish, Topping it Zubaan and Chicken 65. The wow factor of the dish had finally descended on us with some going far out to making Haleem with Oats, Italian herbs of Oregano and Thyme. But they forgot to realize one important factor. Haleem is a wheat dish first and the red meat is secondary. It is all about getting the consistency of the wheat beaten to correctness while the meat melts away in the pot.

For me it will always be the perfect fulfilling dish it’s meant to be. Next throw in the brown onions, fresh mint and cashews. You then generously add a ladle of Sherwa to have the best goddamn food that Hyderabad has to offer.

You can still check out the 20 Best Places To Have Haleem in Hyderabad we compiled in 2015 below. The list shall now be updated once again with 2017.

The 20 Best Haleem Joints In Hyderabad

 

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It’s mid-June, finally a reprieve from the summer heat and the monsoons have descended. The entire city of Hyderabad is decked up for the holy month of Ramzan. Every year the month of Ramzan means an entire month of fasting and also Haleem, the beloved dish that Hyderabadis await to gorge on this time of the year. Even though a lot of hotels have now started serving it round the year, but the zaika of this Hyderabadi dish can be felt only during the month of Ramzan. Topped with fried onions, mint and several other versions that each hotel has given its own twist, there is no beating Hyderbad’s love for Haleem and Biryani.

Haleem At Kebab Theater, Lemon Tree Hotels

It’s that time of the year when people ask “Haleem Khaye?” or “Where do you get the best Haleem?”. So we’ve made a list of top places famous around the city of Hyderabad for you to try and indulge your tastebuds. The list is not ranked,  and it lists the top in no order.

  1. Pista House: The past few years has seen the rise of Pista House as the brand ambassador of Haleem for Hyderabad. Some might consider it just a little above-average, the global appeal of Pista House is unmatched to any other eatery. They also deliver outside Hyderabad through Gati Courier. The original outlet is at Charminar but many makeshift stalls are set up around the city. The green tubs are hard to miss. They also have a vegetarian version.
    Pista House Haleem
  2. Shadab: No visit to Charminar is incomplete without a drop-in at Hotel Shadab. The Haleem at Shadab is served with Zabaan and boiled egg. It’s a little bit spicier than the regular Haleem.
  3. Green Park Hotel: ‘Once Upon A Time’, the specialty restaurant of Green Park, Ameerpet serves Haleem throughout the year and also has it part of their midnight buffet. The Haleem is extremely smooth and very well made.
  4. Café 555: Many of the city’s locals swear by Café 555. The best part about the Haleem at Café 555 is the variety of innovations you get along with your Haleem. Haleem topped with Chicken 65, Zubaan etc… are just to name a few of those. The shorba on top is the extra punch you’ll need to give the flavor to the haleem. A lot of bones lately has been a drawback for me personally.Cafe 555
  5. Café Bahar: The original Café Bahar at Basheerbagh is famous for it’s brilliant Biryanis and it’s Haleem. They have great combos during the Ramzan season and you get a bottle of coke with your Haleem too.
  6. Hotel Iqbal: One of the few hotels which serve authentic Hyderabadi food as part of their menu. The Haleem at Café Iqbal is completely different than the regular fare you get around Hyderabad. They serve the Iranian version of the Haleem made with real saffron.Haleem At Cafe Iqbal
  7. Alhamdulillah: Along with the amazing Tala Hua Gosht that Alhamduilillah is famous for, they also serve a delectable Beef Haleem.
  8. Hotel Rumaan: Rumaan in Tolichowki is famous for the beef version of the Haleem. Opened till late into the night, the Haleem is priced very moderately and attracts the people who like the heavier meat.Hotel Rumaan
  9. Hyline: The Haleem at Hyline, Koti is meatier and the aroma of the spices and ghee oozes with every spoon. One of the must try places during Ramzan.
  10. Nayaab Hotel: Nayaab’s take on Hyderabad’s most famous Ramzan dish is a bit spicier than the regular ones. Topped off only with fried onions and a dash of lime, there is also a generous amount of oil added to give it that extra seasoning.
  11. Grand Hotel: Grand Hotel’s version might not be the best, but it certainly is one of the oldest eateries serving Haleem since 1946. It’s riddled with a lot of bones and also bland comparatively.Hotel Grand Haleem
  12. Madina Hotel: Eons ago, precisely 70 years back, Madina Hotel in Patherghatti, Charminar used to be the only hotel around serving Haleem commercially in Hyderabad. It still continues to have it’s loyal customer base till date. After the fire gutted the main hotel they never have been able to resurrect. But for those glorious times they get a special mention.
  13. Shah Ghouse: The friendly rivalry between the biggest hotels to serve their customers during Ramzan spills onto the streets quite literally. The waiters of Shah Ghouse can be seen waving the menu, to invite them in both at their Charminar and Toli Chowki outlets. It is flavorful, light but like many of the eateries lately, they too seem to have gotten a lot more bones in their Haleem.Shah Ghouse
  14. Hotel Niagara: Niagara Hotel is one of the city’s oldest and famous Biryani Joints. It also serves Haleem 365 days a year and sees great-takers during the Ramzan month.
  15. Chai Shop, Taj Banjara: In the mood for some great coffee and Haleem, the Chai Shop in Taj Banjara is open 24 hours and also serves Haleem throughout the year. It is served along with a sheermal.Haleem At Chai Shop, Taj Banjara
  16. Bawarchi: Bawarchi is a name so synonymous with Hyderabad that it’s given rise to so many replicas throughout the city. But the original outlet at RTC ‘X’ Roads serves some of the most delectable Haleem during the Ramadan month.
  17. Lajawab Haleem: If you ask any of the locals around the Barkas as to which is their destination for Haleem is? They’ll redirect you towards Lajawab Chicken Center right opposite Mataam-Al-Arabi which makes a delicious Chicken version and also one of the best Suleimani Chai in the city.
  18. Sarvi: The Irani Haleem served at Sarvi is sure a crowd-puller. Located on Road No. #11, Banjara Hills, the Haleem is made of mutton and wheat alone. The spices used are more flavorful and with a dash of lime wedge on top, a bowl of Haleem is scooped clean in minutes.Sarvi
  19. Hotel Sohail: Famous for it’s divine Malai Paya and many other Hyderabadi dishes, the Haleem at Hotel Sohail in Malakpet is quite amazing. Topped off with diced cashews, diced mint leaves and caramelized onions, it tastes heavenly.
  20. Mandar: The Yousuf Tekri complex houses some legends of the Hyderabad eatery scene and then there is Mandar. It is one of the oldest outlets serving the dish and is also famous for it’s exquisite Biryanis too.

Every nook and corner of the city has stalls set up during the Ramadan and there is no denying the passion that Hyderabad has for it’s Biryani and Haleem. Lately there has been different variations like the Fish and low-calorie Emu interpretations too. Do let us know your favorite Haleem outlets below in the comments.

We shall be conducting a Haleem Walkathon during the month of Ramzan. Like our page FoodDrifter or mail us at fooddrifter@gmail.com for further updates.

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