Hyderabad goes global with Haleem-e-Khas

Written by BV Mahalakshmi | Hyderabad, Sep 27 | Updated: Sep 28 2008, 06:38am hrs
Be it an off-season or mid-season, the traditional haleem from Hyderabad is going places. Gati, the express distribution and supply-chain management company, will soon be shipping about 600 kg of haleem worth Rs 6 lakhs to middle-east for a confirmed order.

This marks a beginning as enquiries have just started pouring from countries like Australia and Malaysia as well. This means it is the new short-term export business from Hyderabad having potential worth over Rs 100 crore in just a month.

Haleem is the mainstay during the holy month of Ramadan. This traditional wheat porridge has its roots from the Arabs. Gati has joined hands with Pista House, claimed to be the largest haleem seller in the world, to take Haleem-e-Khas, the authentic Hyderabadi delicacy, both for domestic and international markets. Haleem-e-Khas is a rich mix of wheat, meat, ghee, lentils and dry fruits and is supplied in a special package, which can be preserved for a minimum period of one month.

Says Maheen Kannu, Gati head (retail), Haleem-e-Khas will soon be sent to Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore, Chennai, Coimbatore and Ahmedabad through Gati. It is priced at Rs 350 per kg (inclusive of taxes) in India. ``Although this does not form the mainstay of our business, it is a beginning for exploring bigger orders in other countries, Kannu opines.

In fact, Pista House has received registrations from Transpacific Certification Ltd (TCL) and the scope of registration is for processing and supply of bakery items, sweets and pizzas food besides haleem. TCL approval allows even a joint accreditation system to Australia and New Zealand. Besides, it has also received approval from the ministry of food processing industries to source raw meat from the government slaughter house.

So what makes Hyderabad so special The city which is over, 400-year old, has been patronising haleem business since then. Syays MA Majeed, MD, Pista House, Haleem business in the city is about Rs 100 crore just for a month. Pista House, claimed to be the largest seller, sells about 50,000 plates of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian haleem. With a staff of over 1,000 people, it makes Rs 40 lakhs as part of its daily business.

Says Shakeel Ahmed, whose taste buds trickle for a haleem, ``Since intake of calories is low due to fasting during the day and limited meal during this month, a plate of haleem is sumptuous and nutritious too to bring back the energy levels to a certain extent.

Incidentally, haleem is also facing the heat of inflation. The prices have increased to Rs 60 per plate from Rs 50 with the hike in meat and ghee prices.