Of Haleem and Nombu Kanji : Tales of Iftar from Chennai

The holy month of Ramzan is upon us and as Muslims all over the world observe fasting and spiritual servitude, restaurants all over come up with delicious Iftar treats. Haleem and Nombu Kanji are two of the most popular Iftar foods in Chennai and we are giving you a look into what makes them special here and some of the best places to get Haleem.

Haleem is associated with being a very heavy dish and it is no wonder because it takes hours and hours of preparation and is rich in wheat, dal and the choicest mutton. Topped with fried onions and herbs along with lime, this is the perfect fast breaker. People in Chennai have accepted Haleem in a big way and it is not just the Muslims who are fasting that love this hearty dish. Chennaites love Haleem like their own and you will find people from every community queuing up to buy this delicacy.

Top places in Chennai for the best Haleem are :

Pista House

54, Chella Pillayar Koil St, Padupakkam, Triplicane, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600014
Phone: 073585 46607

This restaurant is a franchise of the original in Hyderabad and they cater to the majority of the demand for Haleem in Chennai. The chefs from the Hyderabad outlet fly down this time of year to Chennai along with their own special spice essentials for the dish.

Haleem Express

Triplicane High Rd, SVM Nagar, Ellis Puram, Padupakkam, Triplicane, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600005                                          Phone: 098841 41777

These guys have been doing the Haleem delivery rounds in Chennai for a while and also bring in cooks from Hyderabad.

Hajeeras Kitchen

9/6, 4th Street, Via Bashyam Layout, IndraGandhi Nagar, Chennai,, Adambakkam, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600088
Phone: 098849 51899
This place is one of the oldest in Chennai, serving up delicious Haleem since 2000 and this year they plan to even start offering chicken and vegetarian options if there is adequate demand.
A lot of people who want to savour Haleem but are wary of its richness, are looking for lighter options like these or like the Bohri version, Kichda

Kanji Comfort

 
Nombu Kanji is a traditional fast breaker that you will not find at most restaurants. It is a specialty in the southern states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala that is served up at Iftar in Mosques. Practicing the spirit of sharing and giving, making and giving out nombu kanji during this holy month is practiced in homes as well.
It is a lightly spiced rice and lentil porridge. Sometimes meat is also added.  Rice being a staple in Tamil Nadu, is easily accessible to everyone.
The practice of making koozh, a meat based porridge as a community meal has been around for centuries in Tamil Nadu.
Mosques prepares the budget for preparing this delicate dish well in advance and feed fasters daily.

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