|Mutton Haleem at Zeeshan Kolkata|
I decided to begin this year’s Haleem-eating with Zeeshan. Typically, Kolkata has its own brand of Haleem… its not the thick, paste-like stuff of Hyderabad, but it is cooked slowly, with bony chunks of meat, cooked for hours over coals. The word Haleem, or Halim, in Arabic, means gentle, understanding, patient, according to Wikipedia. That’s what you should be while cooking Haleem – you would need to sit and wait for hours because it needs to be cooked for a while to make the meat go delightfully tender and melt into the soup, which is infused with the flavors of the meat. Zeeshan in Park Circus had never truly disappointed me, so I ordered a bowl of the Special Haleem, along with two Tandoori rotis.
|Zeeshan Park Circus|
By far, Zeeshan makes the most expensive Haleem I have had till date in Kolkata. At 120/-, you expect something slightly more than the average stuff, and the quantity is, I daresay, slightly more than other places, barring Aminia and Sufiya (both in Zakaria Street). But, I must say, this version was quite good, with a thick, soupy meaty richness that was perfect after I squeezed copious amount of lime juice on top, and sprinkled coriander and mint that came with it. I asked for chillies and more lemon, and the server, who had the voice of a radio presented, and perfect delivery style, brought it for me. I was a solo diner, and he left me to my food, and did not disturb me while I slurped and gulped the hot stuff down.
There were a few succulent pieces of meat at the bottom of my bowl… the meat was tender, and clung to strands of fat still stubbornly refusing to infuse into the broth… I closed my eyes in a moment’s pleasure, and thanked God for the beauty that is mutton. A couple of nalli pieces beckoned me to suck the marrow out of them… I did. A beautiful, thick layer of fat swirled its way inside my mouth, and I nearly moaned in delight.
My meal was 181/- for two tandoori rotis (18/- each) and a bowl of Haleem (120/-), and service tax, etc. But, the pleasure was… infinite.
P.S. Sorry about the picture quality… I forgot to take my camera, and all the pictures were taken using my phone.
|Haleem at Zeeshan|
17, Syed Amir Ali Avenue
Park Circus Region