It is that time of the year when city folks are scouring menus to find their favourite iftar treats. The king of all dishes during Ramzan is a hearty bowl of Haleem. This wheat and lentil strew that has the texture of porridge is a winter treat that is usually cooked in heavy pots deep underground with meat pounded for hours and hours till everything becomes this pulpy paste like delight that is just bursting with flavour. You can always meander your way through the lanes of Mohammed Ali Road and other Khao Gallis for a more rustic experience but if you are in the mood to eat it at a restaurant in a slightly more formal setting then we have got you covered. These are the best restaurants for Haleem in Mumbai.
Persian Darbar, Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), Western Suburbs - One of the absolute best restaurants in the city for Mughlai food, Persian Darbar this season has created their special Persian Haleem this year. It is their 12-hours cooked Haleem that is prepared every day and a treat for folks craving this hearty meal. It is not available all year round. This is a special dish available during the Holy month of Ramzan and you can find this at all their outlets.
Ummrao, Courtyard Mumbai International Airport - This lovely North Indian restaurant at the Courtyard By Marriot Hotel has a special Ramzan menu all month long and they have their own recipe for Haleem but this is slightly tweaked. It is cooked with broken wheat, couscous, asparagus, baby goat and potli spices. Vegetarians do not need to be disappointed, they have a special vegetarian version which is rare but equally tasty as the meat is substituted with jackfruit. Not traditional but certainly inclusive.
The Bombay Canteen, Lower Parel, South Mumbai - For most places Haleem is a special winter treat that you find only during the holy month of Ramzan but at The Bombay Canteen, this wonderful treat is featured on their regular menu throughout the year. It is a combination of green wheat, puffed dry wheat and other locally sourced ingredients. Like all the dishes at The Bombay Canteen, this is their version with the addition of green wheat but it's super version and another fabulous dish from the Bombay Canteen.
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Taftoon Bar & Kitchen, Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), Western Suburbs - This BKC restaurant takes you on a culinary journey with dishes from the ancient spice route all the way from Afghanistan right through till Kolkatta. So it should come as no surprise to find dishes like Raan, Nihari, Bataer ( Quail ) and, of course, Haleem. They too serve their Haleem all year round and as the menu states, this dish is a Lahori recipe dating back to the 10th century made with minced meat, wheat, lentils and barely along with mild spices. We do not know about the origins of the recipe but we do know that it is excellent and the perfect place to enjoy what is usually devoured on the street.
Kakori House - This restaurant and its multiple outlets are popular for their kebabs especially the Galouti and their Biryanis but not many know that year round they serve a simple yet stellar Haleem. No fuss no frills just a simple Haleem of wheat and meat garnished with fried onions, that has been cooked for hours and relished by regulars who know of its existence.
Better known as the Tiny Taster, Roxanne is an internationally respected blogger and expert on the Mumbai food scene. She has hosted many events, including the Upper Crust Food & Wine Show and travels the world, sharing her knowledge and gaining more experience.