Mutton Haleem at Dustarkhwan

Haleem season is fully upon us here in Kolkata, and I made up my mind that Dustarkhwan was going to be my next stop. Those who have missed my first post on Haleem Hunting in Kolkata, where I talked about the Haleem in Zeeshan, you can see it here.

So, the other day, I walked around New Market, bargained down a neat corkscrew/bottle opener, weaved my way past the clock tower and made my way towards Wellesley… Ahem, excuse me… Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Road as it is called now.

Dustarkhwan Kolkata

Dustarkhwan is the posh version of Mezban, which is located right beside it. The food mostly comes from the same kitchen, although Dustarkhwan has its own set of kebabs cooking in the front. The four of us enter and order Haleem – Three mutton and one chicken Haleem to be exact, with two tandoori rotis for us to share. The man looks disinterested and very churlish, and almost insists on us buying a bottle of mineral water, even though we had asked thrice for regular water. We order Thums Up, which come quickly enough.

Mutton Haleem Kolkata Style

The Mutton Haleem (115/-) is thicker than the Zeeshan counterpart. It comes with a layer of flavored oil on top, added to improve the texture. A batch of lemons and chopped mint, coriander and chillies sit beside our plate, to be added as required. Essentially, you need add a squeeze of lime, some of the herbs, and mix everything in, once you get your bowl. We dig into our bowls, and tear off chunks from the crisp tandoori rotis which are as light as air.

The Haleem itself is a beautiful thing – thick, soupy, with a hint of fennel and coriander in the background and the meat is mostly melted into the soup, lending a beautiful flavor. Unlike the Zeeshan version, which contained mostly bones, this version contain more meat, and it was beyond soft. The pieces of meat were on the verge of dissolving into the gravy, it seemed. The chunks of meat were smaller, and the bowl had actually a lot more flavor, in my opinion, than the Zeeshan counterpart.

Here comes the rub – the Chicken Haleem (115/-) that C orders tastes wonderful when it comes to the soup, but the chicken itself is chewy and tough. I assume that they have probably taken the daal from the Haleem from the big handi they serve it from and just plonked a piece of chicken into it. She struggles with it, and in the end gives up the fight, taking deep drags of Thums Up to make up for the loss. Our bill comes to around 620/- for four bowls of Haleem, two Tandoori Rotis, two Thums Up and a bottle of unwanted mineral water.

Dustarkhwan
6 Muzaffar Ahmed St (Ripon St)
Near Wellesley
Kolkata
Phone: 033-22272713

Written by Poorna Banerjee

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