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Shreya posted on 28th May

Haleem, Shararas And Charity: 6 Hyderabadis Tell You How To Get Into The True Festive Spirit Of Ramadan

Ramadan is the time Hyderabad is at its grandest, with the entire old city being lit up, people shopping for bangles and festive outfits and the epic delicacies made to be devoured — it’s a month of all things special. So, we asked six Hyderabadis what they love to do the most this season and here is what they had to say.

Satpreet Kaur -- Fashion

Satpreet Kaur, a fashion blogger believes that food and fashion go together in the month of Ramadan. Right from restaurants to fast fashion stores and designer boutiques, there are offers that you cannot stop indulging in. She loves wearing chikankari kurtis from Numaish {an annual industrial exhibition} and shararas she plans to get from Neeru’s or The Deccan Story in Jubilee Hills {as she thinks they have some classy stuff and endless variety}. Satpreet tells us that she will be pairing all her outfits this season with juttis, from Needledust that are also available at The Deccan story in beautiful shades. She completes her look with evergreen chandbalis that fit the occasion perfectly. You can never have enough of them and if you want more designs, she recommends Chaahat — a store that’s been selling fashion jewellery for generations. If you love indulging in silver jewellery like her, then you can visit Amrapali store or shop Ritika Sachdeva’s jewellery available at Ogaan {both in Banjara Hills}.

Vishal Fernandes -- Food

Food blogger and social media influencer, Vishal Fernandes says that Ramadan is a spiritual journey but food makes it even better! Everything around Charminar, Mehdipatnam, and Tolichowki light up and there are crowds full of energy. The Iftaar treats like lukhmi, paya, marag, haleem, biryani, sheer kurma and kubani ka meetha are a delightful indulgence that definitely brings you closer to your neighbours and the community at large. He tells us that he loves visiting Shah Ghouse that has something different to offer at different time of the day – a plate of khichdi with kheema and khatta and Char Koni Naan with paaya and gurda; kaleji is most sought after breakfast meal. The biryani and haleem here are consistently ranked one of the best. When at Charminar, a stop at Nimrah Bakery is a must – from Osmania Biscuits to Khopra Biscuits and Chand Biscuits. Hotel Nayaab for its Bheja Fry is a must visit too. For a finer experience of Iftar Treats –Vishal swears by what Soda Bottle Openerwala and Zaiqa-E-Hyderabad have to offer. All of the Hyderabadi delicacies served here are a true delight.

Ashis Nayak -- Old City Vibes

Ashis Nayak, who runs an award-winning food blog loves the way Hyderabad comes alive during Ramzan. The festivities, community spirit and of course, the gorging on delicious food during this holy month excites him much like us all. He tells us that he loves venturing towards the Old City a lot more to soak in the sights and sounds, witness people shopping for wares, breaking their fasts during iftaar but most importantly, to have his share of the delicious haleem. Starting off with the haleem and chai at Hotel Nayaab, fish fry beside Hotel Shahran, pathar ka gosht, chicken 65 at Akbar, he walks all the way till Shah Ghouse to end it all with a Biryani. He also drops by for the Gyarah Handi Haleem set up by Soda Bottle Openerwala as a ritual; and since this is so often recommended, you should too.

Mamatha Mallipudi -- Biryani

Mamatha swears that the biryani is made with an extra bit of love during the month of Ramadan. This year, she recommends the haleem at Ohri’s outlets in the city as she is loving it; her personal favourite being the Mutton Haleem as that is the most authentic one out there. So, try it and let us and Mamatha know what you think.

Zainab Ali Sajjad -- Home-Style Haleem

Zainab Ali Sajjad, former tennis player and now a YouTuber — loves how the Old City is flooded with people from Iftaar to Suhur; the excitement of getting to try haleem from different restaurants might be on a high, but Zainab loves her mom’s home-made Iftaari consisting of delicious dahi vaada, channa dal, bhajiyas, samosas, aamras, and home cooked haleem that fills the dinner table from one end to another. Furthermore, she tells us how appreciative she becomes of water. And last but not the least, it’s Eidi that makes Ramadan better for Zainab {and everyone else, for sure}. What can be better than getting some cash from elders for fasting religiously, after all?

Insia Naqvi -- Love

Insia Naqvi, a writer, fashion enthusiast and a popular face on Instagram truly believes that Ramadan is an impetus for healing all that ails you. It’s a time to let go of everything that isn’t an instrument to your journey of self love and growth. She finds giving back to those in need as her way of healing herself and making this world a better place in a month that’s truly meant for good. She is currently trying to promote a beautiful campaign crafted by her friend for an organisation known as WhoisHussain. The campaign is called GIVE and it was launched in 2017 wherein 13 children from Iraq with serious heart conditions were brought to India for pro-bono surgeries. She tells us how thirteen lives were saved last year. Stressing on the fact that we just need the inspiration to find the good in ourselves and imbibe the goodness, as that’s what Ramadan is about – she says it’s a month to find yourself.