Friday, August 28, 2009

Pista House's Haleem - Divine Gastronomy

This post has a very high probability of wandering into the realms of exaggeration, and if some of you have gathered such from the title I don't blame you. However, hand on foodie heart, I shall try and be as objective as is practically possible writing this piece after having a plateful of it, three to be precise. The 'it' is obviously the haleem from Pista House, Hyderabad.

To get everyone on board I think we should know the basic facts right.

Ramadan (Arabic: رمضان‎, pronounced: /rɑmɑd̪ˤɑːn/) (also written Ramazan, Ramzan, Ramadhan, Ramdan, Ramadaan) is the ninth month of the Islamic Calendar. It is the Islamic month of fasting, in which participating Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, smoking, and indulging in anything that is in excess or ill-natured; from dawn until sunset [Source: Wikipedia]

It is during this time that many Muslims break their day long fast by the dish, the protagonist of this post, Haleem.

Haleem "is a type of stew made from pounded wheat and mutton (or beef) made into a thick paste. It is the mainstay during the Holy month of Ramadan. It is a tradition to break the daily fast (roza) at Iftar with a plateful of haleem." [Source: Wikipedia] Detailed recipe here.

Okay, now that the basics have been covered, time for the details.

Think of what Sachin Tendulkar is to cricket, Ustad Bismillah Khan to the flute or Madagascar to vanilla. Now, that is what Pista House is to Haleem.

We are in the month of Ramadan and having spent a year in Hyderabad I had this craving for Haleem earlier this week. After a few tweets and status updates, God in the guise of Pratyush Prasanna told me via a Facebook comment that Pista House in fact delivers Haleem to quite a few cities of India (research tells me they are - Hyderabad, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Kochi, Bangalore, Ahmedabad Coimbatore & Pune) and what's more they also accept orders and payments over the internet using credit/debit cards! Mahatma Gandhi's great grandson confirmed it. The minimum order has to be 1 kilo, which comes at a very reasonable 320 INR and is usually shipped within 1-2 days, the package will arrive between 8-11 PM if you are outside of Hyderabad.

I did what I was ordained to.

A bad thunderstorm in Hyderabad and some logistical difficulties tried to stand between my destiny and me, but only for a day. Around 10:30 PM tonight our doorbell rang and Veni came rushing to tell me it was The Haleem!

I leave you with a thought and some pictures. There are very few food items that make you, urge you to live that bit longer just so that you can taste it one more time, Haleem ranks right at the top of the chart. The other of course being Hyderabadi Dum Biriyani. On second thoughts, the culinary God's seem to have been a bit too blatantly biased towards the city of Nizams! God bless Hyderabad, God bless Haleem!

 The package has arrived on our dining table

The famous Pista House emblem

And we are one step away from the first look.

 Nothing has looked more deceptive than a kilo of lumpy haleem.

And there it is, in all it's glory after being heated for 3 minutes. The aroma of meat, ghee and a hundred spices filled our dining room and I guess and hope will not leave it in a hurry!


Radhika said...

Wow.. i was just planning to order the haleem from pista house,I really miss it.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I am from Hyderabad and staying in Gurgaon. I request you to give me all details on how do I order and get the Haleem delivered at my place.

Please send the details to my e-mail ID.

Thanks in advance

Ramana V Valluri
e-mail ID:

Anonymous said...

Awesome pics. Left me drooling.

Ray said...

Oh man today is last day of Ramazan. order it how much you can.
FYI there are other hotels who cook better Haleem than Pista House but only pista house deliver it outside Hyderabad. i have tasted at least 10 other haleems (this month) and Sarvi haleem is best of all.

Suhel Banerjee said...

@Radhika - Please go ahead and order it during Ramzan next year.

@anonymous - emailed

@casinoroyale - still do so every time I come to this post.

@Ray - Unfortunately they don't deliver it to other cities.

Anonymous said... seeing only it looks yummy & its leaving my mouth watering...
wonder if i have it ,,i will go gaga
over it....
god, dese pics are torturing me...

asfiya said... seeing this pics & hearing frm every1 abt pista house haleem dat its yummy, its leaving my mouth watering...
wonder if i hav it ,i will really go GAGA over it...
pista house ur haleem rocks bt sad i have nt tasted it,
ppl plz tel me does pista house provide its service to CANADA...?i am restless now to hav its haleem...

Ray said...

The Holy Month of Ramazan will starting in a months time and you can see the countdown at any of Pista House counters.
@ Asfiya: I guess this Ramazan Pista House will be delivering Haleem to North America also. check its website for more info. its pistahouse dot in. Enjoy!

Unknown said...

Dear suhel, i was in Hyderabad for a couple of years and as you have rightly pointed out its divine gastronomy. The fresh Haleem rolled with dollops of Ghee, garnished with pudina, deep fried brown onions and a dash of lemon juice transcends you to a world which lets you forget the chlestrol catastrophy one gulps.. Thank you so much for the pista house delivery.. i never knew they deliver outside hyd. Next Ramzan in August definitely will sample for some days..thanks once again. BTW do you need to garnish the same or is it just heat n eat?

Anonymous said...

need to know the link to order haleem in europe. do u think they deliver?

email me the link to order please