Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine
Ramadan / Shawwal 1423 H
December 2002
Volume 15-12 No : 192
Camps \ Workshops

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Breaking News


Knock !Knock! Who's That? Postman with Haleem!


Knock !Knock! Who's That?
Postman with Haleem!

Haleem is a must at Iftars in Hyderabad during Ramadan. Joining hands with Pista House,
a popular food joint in the city, the Department of Posts is delivering this delicacy to the public!

By Farukh Shahriyar

Haleem MakingFor most Hyderabadis, Ramadan is incomplete without the lip smacking Haleem, a popular dish available during the holy month. The nutritious delicacy is a must as it helps the Muslims breaking the fast to regain the energy after a day’s long fast. Hundreds of hotels and food joints and road side eateries selling the hot and fresh Haleem from huge deghs (copper utensil) is a common sight in this city steeped in Muslim culture and traditional cuisine. Believed to have originated from Iran, Haleem is a combination of wheat, tender meat and other spices and ingredients mixed and cooked under special heating systems. Mud mounds in front of hotels and mosques to prepare the delicacy, and its spicy tinge in the air are familiar during Ramadan. As the time for Iftar begins, young and the old flock these mounds erected in almost every street in the Muslim-dominated walled quarter to meet the huge demand. Haleem, which is high on calories and rich in vitamins, is the second most popular dish of this city after Biryani. Unlike Haleem which is available only during Ramadan, Biryani is available throughout the year. After hundreds of hotels and eateries, this year the department of posts has also joined the mad rush to cash in on the immense popularity of Haleem. Joining hands with Pista House, a popular food joint in the old city, the department is delivering the dish with the hope that this new business will fetch in badly needed income to the department whose revenues have plummeted because of the widespread popularity of e-mail. Over 76 of 215 post offices in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad and the neighboring districts are delivering the delicacy, which is also popular among non-Muslims. The department hit upon this novel idea of delivering Haleem after making a killing by delivering prasadam, or holy offering, from Hindu temples across the state. That has earned the postal department about Rs. 77 lakh this year. Pista House is packing the dish in special containers to ensure that it remains hot and fresh when delivered. The packages display quantity, date of packing, shelf life and price. The postal department collects the Haleem every evening from Pista House depending on the orders booked by public. It is then delivered by the postal department between 4.00 p.m. and 7.00 p.m. The shelf life for Haleem is one day and it is traditionally taken hot and fresh. A Haleem is available in plastic containers of different sizes of 300 grams (priced at Rs. 50), 600 grams (Rs. 85), 900 grams (Rs. 110), 1200 grams (Rs. 140) and 1500 grams (Rs. 165) including postal charges. The prices are slightly higher than the prices at which Haleem is sold at Pista House. “We attach highest priority to quality and the department of health has also been roped in to independently check aspects like quality and hygiene before it is delivered to the postal office,” said M. A. Majeed, owner of Pista House. “There are hundreds of hotels selling Haleem and dozens of them are very old and popular. But the department of posts picked up Pista Haleem Making House, which is only four years old. It is the taste of our Haleem which makes all the difference”, adds Majeed. “The right choice of spices, meat and more importantly our formula makes our Haleem different from others”, explains Majeed. He claimed that he had already applied for a patent in United States. “There has been tremendous response to the innovative scheme of supplying Haleem through post offices,” chips in Majeed ‘s brother Iqbal. He, however, refused to reveal the quantity being sold through post offices on the ground that this would create tax problems. Before the launch of the scheme, Pista House owners had said that they would be preparing 10 tonnes of Haleem everyday. Last year, it prepared five tonnes daily. Pista House, which has about 400 employees working on the preparation and sale of Haleem, wants to continue the arrangement with the postal department next year too. T.S. Govindrajan, the chief postmaster general of Andhra Pradesh Circle, said they hit upon the novel idea of supplying Haleem through post offices after reading in newspapers last year that the delicacy was being sold in the black market. “We came up with this idea as there is heavy demand for this dish and the department can cash in on this by supplying good quality Haleem,.” he says.

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News| Community Roundup| Editorial| Readers Comments| Men, Machines and Methods| Globe Watch| Political Diary| Issues
Breaking News| Indian Muslims Abroad| Book Review| In Focus| Face To Face| Reflections| Children's Corner| Quran Speaks to You
Hadith| Our Dialogue| Religion| Ramadan Mubarak| Living Islam| Spot Light| Women In Islam| Soul Talk| From Darkness To Light Matrimonial| Jobs| Archives| Feedback| Subscription| Links| Calendar| Contact Us

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