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Feel the warmth of the Ramadan delicacy in every corner in the new ‘pink city’

The city seems to be running a celebration marathon. Last week, we witnessed the glory of the state formation day with enough pink (the colour of the ruling party) that everyone now wonders if Hyderabad, and not Jaipur, is the Pink City of the country. It felt really good to have another holiday and the city sporting the spunky hue all around.
This week, we also had the onset of the holy month of Ramadan and of course, the first taste of the impending monsoon. What a timing for haleem and iftaar parties. Hot, nutritious and spicy, this mutton dish complements the damp weather. In fact, the warmth of the delicacy is felt across the city.
Walk through a narrow street or while you park your car, you can spot the hearths everywhere. With time, Hyderabad has become the haleem hub. Even during the rest of the year, the city’s signature dish is savoured by tourists. However, nothing matches the experience of enjoying it in this month. Every community looks forward to Ramadan evenings.
Have you noticed how we are unapologetic of our food cravings?
We openly acknowledge that food drives us crazy. Whether it is the annual Numaish Industrial Exhibition, the movies or get-togethers, food i s at the core of it. Undoubtedly, we are those who sit for breakfast and start planning the lunch menu.
Even in the elite KBR park where the who’s who of the city take their morning walks, food stalls and health drinks are found in every nook and corner. The other day my driver actually identified the park by referring to the special beverage they sell for diabetics right outside the gate.
The meat and dry fruits dish cuts across, to quote the cliche, political lines to bond people. Iftar parties by the political leaders are great PR exercises where we often see rivals socialising and hugging away in happiness.
City folks set aside special family outings to head out towards haleem stalls even in peak hours, regardless of where they live. Oh God. I am now worried someone from the tinsel town will get inspired and make a movie called Foodotsavam –  a celebration of food. But this time we can watch it in real for a month.

Swapna Sundari

—  The writer is a popular TV show host, radio jockey, professional singer… and most importantly, a hardcore Hyderabadi)

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