The recent carcass meat controversy in Kolkata has not been able to make a dent in people’s insatiable craving for biryani and haleem before Eid-ul-Fitr in Kolkata.
“Kolkatans love to eat and no bhagarer mansho racket can stop them from eating,” said Montazim Ahmed, manager of a reputed restaurant in New Market. “Initially, after the racket came to light, there was a dip in sale of meat but within a few days, the situation got better for us.”
Be it pakoras, ghoogni, chana, the people are buying it all without fear and hesitation. “We are making a profit of Rs 3 lakh every day now,” said the owner of a restaurant in New Market.
The Arabi haleem stall near Tipu Sultan mosque is a hit among the people. Ismail Hossain earns about Rs 5,000 in just four hours. The most famous haleem in the city is available around Nakhoda Masjid. Some of the restaurants said that that there is more sale of and demand for haleem than biryani at this time of the year.
A walk into one of the premiere restaurants of Kolkata revealed people digging into their favourite Kolkata-style biryani. “The meat scare had brought the business down in the last two months, especially for the small outlets; some had to shut down their biryani joints as well. Thankfully just ahead of Eid, the sales kicked off, giving boost to our business,” said the owner of a restaurant in Gariahat.
The demand for haleem has helped in making good the loss incurred in the last couple of months, Abdulla, who owns a restaurant in central Kolkata said.
On an average, the most renowned restaurant is selling 300 to 400 bowls of haleem everyday. The makers have observed the increase in demand for haleem only in the recent years.
“We have to break our fast and trust in the officials of the food department as they have promised us carcass meat-free food,” said Ayesha Rahman, who was buying Iftar delicacies on Thursday.