The Hyderabadi Ramadan Food Festival ‘09~Season I-Roundup

Wishing everyone a very happy and blessed Ramadan’09 Ramadan Mubarak!

Moments before Iftaar time at ‘MASJID-AL-NABWI~The Mosque of PROPHET MOHAMMED (صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ) in Madinah Al-Monawwarah, KSA~The place in the entire world that is very dear to me only next to Makkah.Source

May our prayers be answered, our fast accepted and our homes blessed with Allah’s (سبحانه وتعالى) mercy inshallah, Ameen.

“Call on Me; I will answer your Prayer (Quran – 40:60)

Ramadan (Sawm) is the ninth month of the Islamic Calender, a solemn time of prayers and reflection, when the holy book of Al-Quran was revealed to the Prophet Mohammad (ﷺ). Month long fasting, one of the five pillars of Islam, is observed from sunrise till sunset, on every day of Ramadan. The meaning of Sawm is ‘to abstain’. Abstinence from bad behavior and bad language, sensual pleasures, hunger and thirst is a requirement of a proper fast. Ramadan teaches us moderation and spiritual discipline. Paying Zakat, or alms, to the needy or poor, is another of the five pillars of Islam, is essential during Ramadan.

During Ramadan, we basically have two meals, the Iftaar and Suhoor. Iftaar is after the sunset, when we break our fast eating a few dates, fruits or light Iftaar snacks, a drink or water, and then offer our evening prayers and have a bountiful dinner later. Suhoor, usually lighter than Iftaar, is had before the daybreak. Al-Quran is read with much regard and special lengthy prayers in the night called Taraweeh are observed. The du’as of a person who is fasting is never refused.

Life during Ramadan is slightly harder for us all Muslims living in non-Muslim countries I believe. In most Islamic countries, the whole daily routines of the general population changes to accommodate the observance of fast. Offices and work places open late and close earlier. Nevertheless, the Islamic spirit during Ramadan is the same throughout the world. Everyone shares Iftaar, either by sending what they have prepared to the local mosques, or sending a share to the fellow neighbors.

Ramadan is the best time to be in Hyderabad. The city seems to be abounding with food and people buying food from street vendors and road side food stalls from later afternoon to late in the night or until early mornings.Some typical Hyderabadi foods and dishes associated with Ramadan are: Haleem, Dahi wade, Fruit salads, Khatti Chane ki dal, Samosa, Cholay, etc.

I thank all the participants~bloggers as well as non-bloggers, for taking time out to participate and share their yummy Ramadan entries with us all.
Here’s presenting you all, the roundup of ‘The Hyderabadi Ramadan Food Festival ‘09‘. Hope you all enjoy the delicious recipes sent by my friends and beloved readers. May god bless you all!

1. Rizruby, one of the readers of my blog has shared with us all some of the delicious Ramadan dishes that she prepares for her family. These include~Haleem, Chicken 65 with gravy, and Cherry IceCream cake. Lets go through her recipes in her words:

Hyderabadi Haleem:
This is my mom’s recipe. I get many complements from family and freinds. It is a bit lengthy procedure, approx 2-3 hrs of cooking time but worth it. I do not add many dals, and usually like the taste and consistency of bawarchi/sherewan haleem back home in Hyderabad.

To prepare Daliya:

Daliya/Cracked wheat – 2 cups (8ounce size each)
Split and husked Black gram~Mash/Urud dal – 1/3 cup
Cooking oil – 1 tsp
Black peppercorns – 1 tsp
Caraway seeds/Shahzeera – 1 tsp
Loung/Clove – 4
Elaichi/Cardamom – 4
Cinnamon Stick – 1/3 inch

Wash wheat and dal. Add to pressure cooker. Add oil and rest of the above ingredients. Add water about your index finger level and pressure cook on med-low for 1/2 hour. Make sure wheat is cooked and soft when done.

Potli Masala packet (available in Hyderabad stores)

To prepare Masala water curry:

Potli masala bag -1 (You get Potli Masala packets in hyderabad stores)
Yogurt – 1/2 cup
Red Chilli powder – 1 tsp
Ginger garlic paste – 1 tsp
Salt – 1 1/2 tsp
Oil – 4 tbsp

Take a sauce pan add 7 cups water. Add raw potli masala bag contents. Do not add any powder from bag. Boil for 20 mnts. Strain and reserve the water and keep aside. Take saucepan . Add oil and fry ginger-garlic paste. Later add salt and red chilli powder. Add yogurt and cook for 5 mins on low heat until yogurt is evaporating. Add drained potli masala water and cook for 10 mnts on med flame. Once done, remove from heat and keep aside.

To prepare Mutton gravy:

Mutton, with bone – 2-3 pounds (I use ribs and patla ghost mostly and regular ghost)
Ginger-garlic paste – 2 tsp
Caraway seeds/Shah zeera – 1 tsp
Loung/clove – 5
Elaichi/Cardamom – 5
Cinnamon Stick – 1/3 insh
Garam masala powder -1/2 tsp
Cooking oil – 2 tbsp.
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Salt – 1 tsp

Take a pressure cooker and add the above ingredients. Pour 1 1/2 cups water and pressure cook meat till is very tender and falls off the bone. Feel with your hand if u can seperate meat from bones~if yes, let mutton cool down and remove the meat from the gravy into a bowl. Seperate meat from bones using your fingers. I do not prefer using boneless mutton and grinding, this kills the taste of haleem. So use your hand, its worth it. Keep aside the meat. Do not dry leftover gravy in cooker. Remove from heat and keep the gravy aside.

Haleem, in the cooking stage


Add  1/3 amount of cooled potli masala water to cooked cracked wheat. Blend the mixture and keep adding another 1/3 amount of potli water during grinding process. Do not blend to fine paste but keep it a bit coarse. Keep aside remaining 1/3 potli masala water.

Haleem, served in individual platters

Dum~Final part

Take 2 average size onions and slice them thin. Fry till golden brown in oil. Keep aside.
Take a heavy bottomed 8 quart size non-stick sauce pan. Add blended wheat and cook for 10 mnts on low flame. Keep stirring every 2 minutes. Add remaining 1/3 amount of potli masala water and cook for 5 minutes. Now add pulled mutton, the mutton gravy and cook for 10 minutes on low flame. Keep stirring as mutton usually sticks to bottom. Also add finely chopped cilantro~1/2 cup, garam  masala powder~1/2 tsp ,and the fried onions.
Remember~try to adjust cooking time according to consistency you like~thick or thin or average.
Keep tasting in between always. Never add raw red chilli powder to haleem at this stage. You can add black peppercorns~1 tsp according to your tastes if required .
Now add 3 tbsp cooking oil and keep on dum/cover lid and cook for next 5 minutes on low flame. Then remove pan from stove.
Garnish every serving with minced cilantro, mint, lime juice and fried onions.


I usually freeze leftover haleem sameday in freezer in ziploc bag or yogurt cups. You can freeze for 2 weeks. It helps to save time in parties or when family or friends drop in.
When reusing from freezer, thaw for four hours at room temp and microwave later. I have already done the same for coming ramazan.

Chicken 65
Servings – 5-6

For Chicken:


Boneless chicken – 1  pound , cut into 1 inch size pieces, I use breast chicken meat
Salt -1/2 tsp
Ajinomoto salt -1/2 tsp
Black pepper powder – 1/4 tsp
Red Chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
Shan tandoori chicken powder – 3/4 tsp
Lime juice – 1/2 tsp  or  white vinegar 1/2 tsp
Ginger garlic paste – 2 tsp
Corn starch powder – 1/2 tsp (do not use plain corn powder paste, starch powder makes chicken crunchy)
Egg white, beaten – 1 egg, no yolk
Salt free soya sauce – 1/2 tsp (optional)
(no coloring agents please)

Chicken 65, in the cooking stage

Take a mixing bowl. add above ingredients . add chicken pieces and marinate for 1 hr.


Take a non stick pan/karhai. Add 4 tbsp oil and let it warm up. Add marinated chicken and stir fry. Cook on medium flame for 15 -20 minutes till chicken is tender.

For Gravy:


Yogurt – i/2 cup whipped
Salt – 1/4 tsp
Zeera/cumin powder – 1/2 tsp
Slit green chillis – 4-5
Curry leaves – 10 leaves
Cilantro – 1/4 cup for garnishing
Shan tandoori chicken masala – 1/4 tsp for coloring
Ginger-garlic paste -/2 tsp

Chicken 65


Remove chicken from pan. Add 1-2 tbsp oil if necessary to pan and add green chillies, ginger garlic paste and fry. Now add curry leaves and when u smell the curry leaves add yogurt first, salt and zeera powder. Stir fry and saute for 7-10 minutes on medium flame. Add chicken and cook for more 5 minutes. Garnish with cilantro.

Serving suggestion – Rumali roti. I use ‘Tortillaland’ brand uncooked wheat tortilla. I buy from smith grocery stores, it really tastes like homemade Rumali rotis. I never liked other brand of tortillas.

Cherry Icecream Cake
I always loved backhomes cakes from bakeries. Because they are soft and made with icecream, yummy.
I find very few choices in USA because of halal and wine factor. and also I do not like caramel and  dark chocolate. So I tried this recipe recently and boy it was yummy, very tasty.
I usually love cakes from wholefood market stores and smith grocery stores. You can use any cake mix and icecream for this recipe, like strawberry cake and dark cherries icecream, and fresh strawberries or peach or berries. One tip~do not add cut fruits to icecream but to cake mix.

Cherry Icecream Cake

Serves 5-6
Calories – approx 150 -200, from fat -60 %

Two cakes, baked in aluminium trays


Bettycrocker cakemix- supermoist cherry flavor -1/2 box (this is halal and I got from walmart. You can use any flavor preferably supermoist variety)
Fresh cherries – 1/2 cup, cut into 1/4 pieces size
Fresh cherries – 1/4 cup pureed in blender (Add 1 tsp sugar if a bit sour)
Sliced almonds – 1/5 cup (I use readymade cut almonds from indian/desi store)
Eggs – 2
Olive/Canola oil – 1/4 cup
Water – 2/3 cup
Regular frozen Icecream – 1 1/2 or 2 cups (I used strawberry+vanilla combo)

Cakes sandwiched with the cherry Icecream


Take a mixing bowl. Add eggs and whip using a beater. Add oil and whip. Now add betty cake mix and water and whip for 2 minutes. Add sliced almonds and cut cherries to cake mix and mix. Take 2 aluminium foils trays, 12 inch size square, or as u wish. Aluminium foil is always good for baking. Grease them with oil lightly. Pour the mix in 2 separate trays equally. Bake together in oven at 325°F for 25 minutes. Now remove the cakes and cool them for 10 minutes. Place both trays in refrigerator (not freezer) for 1 hour. After 1 hour, blend the remaining cherries. Take icecream and make it smooth with spoon, making sure you do not melt icecream so that u can spread evenly on cake. Add blended cherries to icecream. Now spread soft icecream evenly on top of cake in 1st tray. Spread only on top not sides. Now remove cake carefully from 2nd tray and place above icecream in 1st tray. Freeze cake tray in freezer for 2 hrs. My freezer temp is 0°F. After 2 hrs remove and ice the cake with store bought icing and cherries and nuts. This is optional. I do not do because of the calories it adds. Cut the cake into slices and enjoy.
You can store the leftover cake in fridge, and not in freezer.

A slice of Cherry IceCream cake

You can use this recipe for birthdays or any occasions, I usually bake my biryani and cakes together and save time.

2. Jyothi, a Hyderabadi food blogger has shared with us all the following Ramadan delicacies:

3. Humaira, an another Hyderabadi food blogger has sent:

4. Yasmeen, the Hyderabadi healthnut has contributed:

5. Varunavi, fellow Hyderabadi food blogger sends her Shikampuri Kabab.

6. Muneeba also sends her delectable Zucchini Pakoras or Pancake.

7. Not to forget, the following the my entries for the event:

For more choices, refer to the Recipe Index on my blog.

All those who were unable to send me their entries this year, feel free to send me your Hyderabadi Ramadan delicacies for the coming Ramadan 2010 inshallah.

Here are some amazing pictures of Ramadan 2009 from all around the world.



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20 Responses to “The Hyderabadi Ramadan Food Festival ‘09~Season I-Roundup”

  1. Ramadan Mubarak to you and all the Muslims around the world. May Allah bless you and your family with all the happiness, wealth and wisdom.

  2. Mahe Ramadan Ke Rozae Mubarak……Thar’s a beautiful roundup… many to plan and cook…..nice event.

  3. Ramadan Mubarak to you and your family mona.
    Great roundup,I’ll make sure to try some of Hyderabadi delicious food this Ramadan.

  4. assk

    may allah accept our prayers, fasting, duas in this holy month and always amin.
    a really beautiful pict of masjid nabi. i have been there once and agree it is best place on earth after mecca.

    i feel at times jeddah is the best place to move in as u can deedar mecca everyweek in friday prayers. oh what peace

    also jzkh for posting my recipes . i hope people like it.
    and the r festival really looks exciting. i am sure going to try many recps.

    take care

  5. shaikhmohammed Says:

    wonderful picture of madinah munnwara (masjidul manawi). nice and praiseworthy round up of ramadan food festival. ramadan mubarak to all muslims commnunity in the world. thanks

  6. Ramadan Mubarak to you mona…and to all your readers!..the round up looks tooo lovely!..

  7. Asak Mona, Ramadan mubarak to you. So many recipies…I dont need to look anyfurther. I liked your chicken 65 recipe. I made it many times but it never turns out satisfying to my taste. I will try your version soon. Thank you for all the hard work you put in for this entry.

  8. Happy Ramadam.

    The recipe sound and look really delicious, I love the cherry cake sandwich.

    Great round up of recipes. 🙂

  9. Hi Mona,

    I enjoy your blog a lot and try recipes whenever time and chance knocks at my kitchen. Thank you for sharing wonderful details on Ramzan. The picture is serene and beautiful. Happy festivities to you and to your family.

  10. Assalamualaikum Mona Aapa
    Ramadan kareem to you and your family!

    My name is Mobinaand I recently moved to the US after marriage about 6 months back. I am from Madras and I consider that in some way we share common ground, not sure if you agree with that.

    I chanced upon your blog when I was searching for Fried Arvi recipe on the internet, the basics for which I knew but I still wanted to make sure if I was doing it right. And when I found your blog I found khatta salans and brain masala and khorma…all of which reminds of me home…and since then your blog has been on my Iphone and just a click away 🙂
    I wanted to appreciate you for your wonderful effort. I’ve been following you and will do for long. Inshallah with all the Ramadan recipes up here that shouldnt be hard.
    I was away for a bit as a result didn’t know about the Ramadan Food festival, or would’ve contributed too 🙂 Inshallah next time. I was so happy to see the Hyderabadi Chicken 65 recipe as this is a staple at my place too.

    Thanks for making mine and people’s lives easier and so much tastier. May this Ramadan bring a lot of barkat to your family. Ameen.


    Mobina, I am glad you like my blog. Jazakallahu Khairun for the appreciation and kind words. ~Mona

  11. Ramadan Mubarak to you Mona. That’s a lovely set of recipes for me to draw inspiration during this month.

  12. Ramadan kareem mona to you and to you family.

    Nice roundup,we at home are non-veg lovers,will do few recipes from your round up.


  13. Ramadan kareem to you and to your family.

    Excellent loved all the dish and bookmarked this page 🙂

  14. Ramadan Mubarak to you and your family Mona.. I am glad to participate in this festival…

  15. It indeed a blessing to visit the holy cities during Ramadan.Wish I could 😀
    Thanks for the awesome round-up,Mona.

  16. Ramadan Kareem to you too Mona … hope you have a happy and healthy one! Thks for adding my pakoras to the list … and I love checking out what other fellow hyderabadis have lined up for Ramadan goodies … will be trying a lot of these recipes out soon!

  17. Asak Mona,I wanted to make this cake very much but my kids doesn’t like cherries so my question was can i add pineapples instead of cherries? and make it like our indian style pineapple cake! Jazakhallaha for your delicious reciepe’s & EID MUBARAK to you and your family.

    Wa-AlaiKum-AsSalaam, I have earlier made home-made ice-cream cake using raspberries too. Go ahead and try it with pineapple. Also, do let me know how it turned out.
    And Eid Mubarak to you and your family too Uzma! ~Mona

  18. Hi Mona,
    I love your website. Iam from hyderabad and i love the pictures that u have posted here. I would like to ask if u can post the recipe for the red chicken ( almost dry)which they serve with bread in hyderabadi weddings . My children love it but i dont know how to make it.please help me. thankyou so much for sharing ur wonderful talent with us. looking forward to hear from you. Eid Mubarak.

    Madhu, Thanks for the wishes! Unfortunately, I am not familiar with the exact recipe of the dish you are talking about(but I can always replicate it my way ofcourse). However it used to be one of my favorites too. If anyone of my contacts or readers shares with me the recipe, Inshallah I will publish it on my blog. ~Mona

  19. The roundup event looks amazing! Loved the chicken 65 recipe.

  20. […] meals and recipes that she creates with effortless ease. To savor authentic Ramzan recipes do visit ‘The Hyderabadi Ramadan Food Festival’ round up at Mona’s blog. She has very kind to share an elaborate article on the food culture […]

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