Hyderabad: Hyderabad is famous for the Charminar, Salarjung Museum, Biryani and IT companies — and the Hyderabadi Haleem is now all set to join the vaunted list.
The famous and nutritious dish available here during the month of Ramadan will soon get the Hyderabadi tag akin to Darjeeling Tea, Banarasi Silk and Tirupati Laddu.
Once the Geographical Indicator (GI) tag is granted, Haleem makers outside Hyderabad will not be able to sell their product as Hyderabadi Haleem and even those within the city can claim the GI tag only if they meet the quality standards.
"We are hopeful of getting the GI tag before the end of this Ramadan as we have qualified for the same," S. Ravi, patent manager and intellectual property consultant at Adhikari IP Consultants, told IANS.
According to Ravi, who filed the application on behalf of the Haleem Makers' Association of Hyderabad, the GI Registry of India office in Chennai carried an advertisement in its journal calling for objections, if any.
"Since no objections were filed during the given time which ended on August 29, we have qualified for the GI tag," Ravi said.
The GI tag is granted under Geographical Indicator Act of 1999 to protect traditional products.
It is different from a trade mark which is granted to individual companies.
The consultant said members of the Haleem Makers' Association or any other Haleem maker in Hyderabad can claim the GI tag only if they fulfil the quality requirements.
"There are six quality measures, right from procurement of the ingredients to the 12-hour cooking process," he stressed.
The product can be called Hyderabadi Haleem only if the maker follows the prescribed standards.
"For example, it has to be goat meat, cooked in pure ghee and the cooking has to be done over firewood for 12 hours. You can't cook on gas and claim the GI tag," said association president Mohammad Abdul Majid.
Majid, whose Pista House food joint is the largest Haleem maker in Hyderabad, hopes that the GI tag will help protect the popular dish.
"We filed for [the] GI tag as we felt the need to check the misuse of the name Hyderabadi Haleem. People in other places are making the dish in this name without even following the basic quality standards," Majid said.
At present, the association only has 15 members but Majid hopes that more will join once they understand the importance of the GI tag.
"It is very difficult to make other Haleem makers understand its importance," said Majid, whose 246 outlets in Hyderabad sell the mouth-watering dish.
Pista House this year tied up with leading transport company Gati to make Haleem available in all major cities in India and even in the Gulf countries.
Haleem is as popular in Hyderabad as the famous Biryani. For many, Ramadan is incomplete without Haleem.