Hyderabadis are known connoisseurs of haleem, the delectable meat delicacy of the city, particularly during the holy month of Ramadan.
For those who love haleem but hold back because of health issues, there is a dish of haleem which they can savour guilt-free. For the fitness-conscious consumers, a low-cholesterol version of haleem, a patented dish, is on offer.
For the first time, low cholesterol haleem made out of Emu meat is catching up as Ramadan brings festivities to the city. The traditional haleem comprises mashed goat meat, pounded wheat, lentils, spices and ghee as the main ingredients. It is high in cholesterol and is generally not advised for diabetic and hypertensive patients.
Seizing the opportunity, a young entrepreneur of Bahadurpura in the old city came up with the idea of low-cholesterol haleem using Emu bird meat.
The new variety of haleem, rich in iron, zinc and other vitamins, is making brisk sales at several outlets across the city. It is priced at Rs100 per 300 gramme pack. Emu bird meat is available at Rs300 per kg and marketed all over Andhra Pradesh. Emu farmers in the state see a vast potential to market Emu haleem as a healthy alternative to the one made of red meat.
Haleem is served hot with crispy fried onions and a dash of lime. The mouth-watering dish is very popular during Ramadan and feasted by both Muslims and Hindus. Several hotels in the city set up special counters to sell the dish during the month-long festivities.
“The cooking process is the same for Emu haleem and mutton haleem. After tasting Emu haleem, people are coming back to our shop to buy more,” said Mohammad Ravoof who runs a haleem outlet in the old city. He gets Emu birds from a farm in Suryapet, about 150 kms from Hyderabad.
Hyderabadi haleem has been granted Geographical Indicator (GI) tag under GI Act 1999 to protect traditional products. This means that no other city can make or market the dish as Hyderabadi haleem.
The unique distinction is similar to Darjeeling Tea and Banarasi Silk.