Hyderabad: ‘Harees’, a delicacy similar to the mouth-watering haleem, is a great hit in the winters and hotels serving traditional food are now making a fast buck selling this to the crowds. Prepared with mutton or beef, harees is sold at three hotels in the Barkas area, and in a few other places at Mallepally. Harees is prepared with generous amounts of spice, though a sweeter version is also available. But, whether sweet or salty, the dish finds many takers on the chilly mornings.
One such hotel, Hadrami Harees specialises in this dish and has been making it for the last 50 years in the Barkas Bazaar, located in the Arab dominated neighbourhood Barkas. Mr Qaisar Bin Abdullah, owner of the hotel, says that winter sees a lot of rush for harees. “Harees is famous for its unique taste and is also quite nutritious too. A lot of pure ghee and dry fruits go into making harees. People love it more in the winter season as it is supposed to be a warm food”, he explains.
People from across the city queue up at this hotel from the early hours itself as it is only sold for about four hours in the morning. It is the same with the other hotels as well. “In the past only locals or those from the Old City areas visited us. Gradually, people from far off places in the city have also started visiting us. We wind up the business by 10 am”, says Mr Abdullah bin Haftoor. The highlight of this dish is that it is boneless. “Bones are removed. We use the meat after beating it into a paste. The process of preparing this is more or less similar to haleem and spices are almost the same”, Mr Hadi, proprietor of Arabi Haleem, another hotel at Barkas, said.
Harees is available in two variants, one is sweet and the other is spicy. For the sweet harees variant, a couple of spoons of sugar is topped on the plate and folded into the harees. The regular spicy variety has dollops of pure ghee.
Harees is originally a Central Asian dish and was introduced in the Barkas by the Arab community. Haleem, the other favourite, was introduced in the city by Iranians at the Madina Hotel.