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Hyderabad Haleem makers in dilemma amid Covid surge

Hyderabad: Makers of the seasonal delicacy, Haleem, are planning to curtail their seasonal business in view of the resurge of Covid-19 cases across the city.

Around 2,000 registered restaurants set up Haleem outlets during the month of Ramzan reporting business to the tune of several crores of rupees. The delicacy also brings seasonal employment to several persons and their number increase every year.

Mohd Abdul Majeed, proprietor of Pista House, said this time around they had not yet decided on setting up temporary outlets across the city.

“Our plan is to restrict the sale of Haleem at only Pista House outlets across the city,” he said.

A major setback for the Haleem makers is the shutdown of major IT companies due to Covid-19.

Many IT companies place orders with popular Haleem joints every year. However, with most of the IT companies still following ‘Work from Home’ norms, there might be a significant drop in the demand from the IT corridor, feels Majeed, who is also president of the Hyderabad Haleem Makers Association.

Last year, restaurants did not make the Persian dish due to the lockdown across the country. Restaurant owners say this year, the cost of the plastic containers used for packing and dispensing Haleem has increased as parcels is the new custom at most eateries.

“Prices of edibles and spices used in preparation of Haleem too has increased several folds in the last two years. So we have to calculate the production cost and decide the price, again we need to ensure the entire quantity is sold and that there is no wastage,” says Mohd Irfan of Shah Ghouse Hotel.

In view of the increase in Covid-19 cases, the restaurant owners expect more parcels to be sold.

“Our focus is more on encouraging the ‘take away’ concept in view of the present scenario. By the end of the month, a decision will be taken by most of the restaurant owners,” said Syed Shahnawaz, a Haleem maker from Jahanuma.