COVID-19: Haleem to get costlier this Ramzan in Hyderabad

Hyderabad: Haleem, which is ubiquitous Ramzan in the city, has made a comeback after a gap year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic last year. However, the Iranian-origin dish is also going to be dearer to our pockets, thanks to increasing prices of petrol, mutton, and other commodities. The cost of Haleem per plate is mostly going to average around Rs 200 easily, and has left foodies miffed.

In 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the city, Haleem was sold for about Rs 170. Post Ramzan, during the yearly Numaish or exhibition held in Hyderabad, Pista House sold its Haleem for Rs 190. Sources from Pista House said that the rate of Haleem has not yet been decided, while other establishments in the city which have already started selling Haleem have priced it at Rs 200 per plate.

The price list of Haleem at Sarvi hotel and restaurant in Hyderabad. (Photo: Usama Hazari)

Café 555 and Sarvi, which began selling Haleem a week ago, have the basic Haleem plate priced at Rs 200. However, the latter is also selling its ‘special’ Haleem for Rs 250. Cheaper places like Royal food court at Lakdikapool have set the rate of mutton Haleem at Rs 180 for a full pack, mini Haleem for Rs.100 and family pack for Rs 300.

Skyrocketing prices leave customers unhappy

“Ramzan is not just a festive season for Muslims in Hyderabad, but a festive season for everyone in Hyderabad. Haleem unites the whole city during this time,” said Faraaz Farshori, who heads the Hyderabad (Die Hard foodies) group on Facebook. He added that the spike in the prices is the pinch of inflation, as the cost of electricity and mutton have gone up. “GST also has a part in this spike,” Farshori opined.

Farshori further stated that the ongoing pandemic is also responsible for this increase as the restaurants have hired new staff. “There are multiple factors affecting the spike in Haleem. It is a domino effect,” he told siasat.com.

Md.Aftab Khan, a Hyderabad based entrepreneur said that restaurants are trying to make up for the losses for last year’s Ramzan when they were unable to sell Haleem because of the lockdown. He added that Rs.200/- is a bit too expensive for common people as they are still dealing with post lockdown losses and trauma. “In Ramzan where all people enjoy Haleem, it’s very unfortunate to see prices soaring up and being out of reach for people who are less fortunate,” he pointed out.

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