Classic dishes like dahi bade, luqmi, chaney ki dal remain central to iftar, say residents of Hyderabad. Haleem may have become synonymous with Ramzan with long queues of haleem lovers at popular outlets not showing any signs of letting up. But has this bowl of the pounded meat preparation usurped the traditional delicacies on the iftar dastarkhwaan?

City residents opine the haleem phenomenon, especially its monetisation, is less than a couple of decades old. The traditional fare such as dahi bade, luqmi, chaney ki daal and fruit chaat continue to remain central to the iftar meal.

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“There was a time when haleem was made occasionally in homes. It did not have the centrality it enjoys today. In our home, and at several others, dates, dahi bade and luqmi or samosas continue to be served for iftar,” says Humera Begum, an entrepreneur and resident of Banjara Hills.

Urad daal (lentils) flavoured with a hint of lemon and seasoned with black pepper too continues to find its space at the iftar table, says sexagenarian educationalist and former NRI Syed Yousuf. This along with the rest of the iftar fare, he claims, are difficult to replace. The addition of fruit chaat to the dastarkhwaan, he says, is recent.

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Explaining how the iftar dastarkhwaan has changed over the years and correlating it with employment opportunities, he says, “If you think about it, a few decades ago, Muslims’ disposable income was lower than what it is now. So they stuck to the traditional three or four items for iftar. With West Asian countries providing job opportunities, socio-economic conditions changed for several families. What you see now, especially the haleem phenomenon, is because of that change.”

But there are a couple of traditional dishes which are slowly disappearing from the iftar table. Liaqatunnisa Begum, an octogenarian, says that kachaloo is seldom seen. “Kachaloo is a simple, traditional dish made by mixing diced guava with salt, lemon juice, back pepper and sugar. It was popular until a few years ago,” she says. #KhabarLive

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