This particular branch of Arsalan,located near Park Street’s legendary restaurants,Mocambo and Tung Fong,has always been my favorite.The entrance was well lit and the red colored name board was visible from a distance.As we were set on having Haleem that day,no other restaurant could grab our eyeballs more than this one!This place was quite relaxing with high ceilings,since it is a duplex,so there were two floors for seating.The couches are comfortable,which is a big change from the ordinary wooden furniture which one might get at their main Park Circus branch.
Haleem is available only during the month of Ramazan.It is a meat and lentil dish available all across the city and it is actually eaten as a whole meal without nan or roti traditionally.However,we normally go for Haleem with Nan or Roti.The dish is slow cooked for several hours and in the end,the meat blends with the lentils so that all the ingredients mix to form a paste like substance which is not only aromatic,but also nutritious because of the lentils. At Arsalan,only Chicken Haleem and Mutton haleem are available,unlike in many places which serve Beef Haleem as well.
We had the following:-
We were served mutton haleem, with a flavorful mix of meat, lentils and spices. It was garnished with lemon juice, coriander leaves, fried onions and green chilies. Fried onions and coriander was served separately in a side plate,which we could mix according to our tastes .We ate it with tandoori roti.The flavors were mild but there was hardly any mutton in the mixture.
Mutton Lucknowi biriyani:
I just tasted this a bit and was not very impressed with it,even though I did not taste the mutton in the biriyani.The quality of basmati rice used was not up to the mark as it was short in length and not aromatic,unlike the rice normally used to cook biriyani. There were some flavor imbalances and a bit on the spicy side.
This too had the same problem of not using a superior quality basmati rice like the earlier Hyderabadi Mutton Biriyani.The chicken was cooked well though and the potato complemented the dish very well.It somehow was missing the charm of Arsalan’s biriyani which I had tasted earlier.
This ended our Ramadan food walk for the day,which started from Nakhoda Masjid and ended in Arsalan.The restaurant has always been an all time favorite of mine,yet somehow it did not impress me much during the Ramadan food walk by Panchphoron.