Haleem~I

Haleem, is a stew or a porridge made by slow cooking the lentils, meat and broken wheat together. It is a nutritous one-dish meal, perfect for a cold weather, or a starving stomach.

Murgh/Chicken Haleem garnished with fried onion slices, halved lime and sliced green chillies

It is mostly a middle-eastern dish in origins, heavily modified by Hyderabadis to suite their palate and is today one of the most famed dishes of Hyderabad city. It is usually prepared by muslims at Iftaar or dinner in the holy month of Ramadhan. I remember back in India, stalls and shops, especially for the month of Ramadhan would be set up and people would gather in big crowds to have it then and there, or parcel it and take home for everyone at home. The crowds and the stalls, the Pista restaurant famous for Haleem being one such, which would especially be seen in the month of Ramadhan in Hyderabad was a sight to watch, remember and recollect always.

This dish needs some pre-planning and is a little bit time consuming. But you will definitely love it once you try it. It is a balanced, delicious and famous Hyderabadi one dish meal.

I have been trying out many ways of preparing this delicious one dish meal and here is my modified simpler version of the dish. Inshallah I will post my Ammi’s version of Haleem in the future.

Haleem – Slow Cooked Lentils, Wheat and Meat/Vegetables Porridge
Serves: 4-5

Ingredients:

For Nonvegetarian Version-

Lamb/Veal Meat, boneless or with bone - 300 gms, washed and cubed (or) Chicken meat, boneless or with bone – 300 gms washed and cubed (I suggest using meat with bone) (you could also use minced chicken or lamb/veal meat)

For Vegetarian Version-

Fresh/Frozen chopped mixed Vegetables -300gms (you can use chopped vegetables like Cauliflower/PhulGobi, Peas/Matar, Carrots/Gajar, Capsicums/Shimla Mirch, Green Beans/Phalli)

Remaining Ingredients:

Broken Wheat/Bulgar Wheat/Dalia – 1 1/2 cups
Split Bengal Gram/Chana Dal/Chane ki dal – 2 tbsp
Split Yellow Lentils/Masoor dal – 2 tbsp
Split Yellow Lentils/Tuvar dal – 4 tbsp
Salt – to taste
Turmeric/Haldi – 1/2 tsp
Canola oil - 6 tbsp
Onions – 4, large, finely sliced
Ginger-Garlic paste - 4 tbsp
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Coriander seeds – 2 tsp, dry roasted and powdered
Cumin seeds – 2 tsp, dry roasted and powdered

Garam masala – 1 tsp

For Garnish:

Mint leaves/Pudina – chopped, for garnish
Cilantro/Kothmir – chopped, for garnish
Green chillies/Hari Mirch – 4, finely chopped or slit
Fried Onion/Pyaz – 1 cup
Juicy Lemon/Lime – 4, halved
Ghee – 2 tbsp (optional)

Method:

1. Add the broken wheat to surplus fresh cool water and drain in very fine wire mesh strainer several times to wash it, and soak the it and the lentils~chana dal, tuvar dal and masoor dal, seperately overnight or for atleast 3 hours, in generous amount of fresh cool water.
2. For a Non-vegetarian version, pressure cook the meat in surplus amount of water enough to cover it along with a pinch of salt and turmeric till tender. Chicken Meat will cook faster than Lamb meat. Once the meat is tender, drain, measure and reserve the stock in a bowl, shred the meat and keep aside in an anther bowl. Discard the bones. If using minced meat, cook it in a little oil, salt and red chilli powder until browned evenly. Keep aside.
3. Drain the soaking wheat and lentils and keep aside in a fine wire mesh strainer. In a non-stick 7 quart Dutch oven at medium heat, pour oil and as it gets warmed up throw in the sliced onion and stir fry until evenly browned and crisp (make sure you do not burn it). Remove the pan from heat and using a slotted spoon, remove about 1/2 of the fried onions from the pan onto a platter and spread the fried onions well so that they crisp up. Return the pan with leftover fried onions to heat and add ginger-garlic paste, coriander and cumin seed powder, red chilli powder, salt and turmeric. Add the drained broken wheat and lentils and mix well. Pour in the reserved meat stock. If you are preparing a vegetarian version, you can add vegetable stock or just plain water. You need to add a total of 8 cups of liquid to the saucepan. Let it boil once then simmer and let it cook covered, until the lentils are tender and the wheat mushy, about 1 1/2 hours, stirring it every once in a while taking care it doesnt stick to the bottom of the dish.
4. Stir in the garam masala and add the frozen/fresh chopped vegetables, or for a non-vegetarian version, the reserved shredded meat or minced meat, and mix well. Let it cook covered till the vegetables are tender and oil comes to surface, about 5 -8 minutes. You can keep adding a little water if needed. Remove the dutch oven from heat. Let it cool down slightly.
5. Once cool, pour the entire thing into a food processor and process for a minute. Pour back into the dutch oven, add a little water, and let simmer covered for 5 more minutes.
6. To serve pour the Haleem into individual plates with a laddle and garnish each plate with a few chopped mint leaves, chopped cilantro, chopped/slit green chillies, reserved fried onion, halved lemon for squeezing fresh lemon juice and a dollop of ghee(optional) for a deliciously nutritious meal.

Luv,
Mona

Leave a Reply

  1. ASA Mona –
    I usually make my Haleem using Shaan Masala packets, but this looks mouthwatering!!!! My next batch will be your receipe. Many thanks!
    Asim

  2. Have you ever tried using a slow cooker to make haleem. If yes pls post the recipe….

    Lakshmi, I do not own a slow cooker, so I usually cook haleem as described above.

  3. Salam every one, I would like to add Teez patta in ingredients, if you use it you will get right aroma of Haleem. Thanks.

  4. salamz mona jee dekho abhi eid ke liye 2 din hi reh gaye hain kuch special recipies post kariyega plz.. abhi mere husband ki holidays bhi hai kuch new recipies plz ………………………EID MUBARAK in advance..sab se pehliaine wish kiaya apko :p

    Wa-AlaiKum-AsSalaam Nishat, I am a bit busy nowadays in Eid preparations, Inshallah I will try to post something.
    And Eid Mubarak to you and your family too! ~Mona

  5. Hi…I usually make this when I know I am going to be away most of the day shopping or such, and will be too tired to come home and cook. The best part is that I soak the wheat and lentils the night before and put all the spices with meat and fried onions in the slow cooker in the morning and turn it on. by the time I come back its nice and tender. I take more or less half of it and grind it (in a blender). Then I mix the grounded haleem back with the other one,let it cook for while, garnish and serve. sometimes when I am short on fried onions, I use the store bought ones too. btw doesn’t the hyderabadi version add a little yougurt too…that how my mom makes it….I on the other hand don’t as my daughter is allergic to dairy

  6. Haleem is not Hyderabadi in origins actually. It is middle-eastern. It is had all over Morocco to break their Ramadan fast.

  7. I was wondering what kind of meat to buy for this dish? What is the cut of beef or chicken etc? How should the meat be prepared before making the haleem?
    Thanks.

    Chelsea, you can use shoulder or leg meat of a lamb, or chicken pieces with bone for this recipe. Before you prepare this dish, cut the meat into bite size cubes, and wash and pat dry them well with a paper towel, and you good to go. ~Mona

  8. Adab Arz hai:
    Khoob maza aya aap ka post padh kar.
    Haleem sab ko parcel kar tey kya
    nai bole to sunte nai (we have linked this funny hyderabadi video, FYI)
    Stay connected

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  10. I love Haleem. But is there any way to make it quicker? Or do you have to soak overnight/ marinate for 30 mins etc?

    Mallika, actually the haleem is cooked night long but the modern day conveniences has made the procedure much simpler. My version is already a simpler kind, and if you want to make it more simpler, you can pre-soak the dals and wheat for just 30 minutes and continue this method instead of pre soaking them for overnight. You might have to cook them a little longer though. ~Mona

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  12. I have heard of this lot of times but never got a chance to taste..now may be I can try this at home one day, we do cook mutton with chana dal but urs looking fabulous..

  13. Hi mona,

    Everyone at my home loves haleem except 4 me:)…may be its bcoz i dnt like the greasy store brought ones…i wsh i had a chance to taste the home made haleem…the pic looks lovely :)

  14. ASA Mona, thank you for another much-wanted recipe! It looks delicious! I love Haleem, but have never made it at home, but since I too am Canadian Muslim who is now living abroad, I don’t have the option of going out and buying it, so I will definitely give your recipe a try soon! I am laughing because your reasons for making dishes like Haleem, are the same reasons my husband likes me to cook at home as much as possible.. Thanks again for your lovely recipe! :)

  15. Hi Mona! Your haleem looks good. It’s a favourite dish of mine. I’m glad your recipe offers us a way to mash the meat after it’s cooked – I’m not comfortable griding raw meat in the grinder.

  16. What a pleasant surprise to see you post about haleem. Delicious.

    After going through your recipe, I wondered: have you ever tried making haleem without so many spices, instead, relying on a few basic ingredients to give the dish its flavour? (For instance, I leave the cumin and coriander out) It tastes just as good.

  17. I have heard this famous Haleem so many times but never tried it. Looks mouthwatering Mona, must try!:))
    All great dishes takes time and patience like our Bisibele Bhath from K’taka!

  18. This dish looks so good, Mona! I have written the recipe down and am planning on making this very soon!!! I will let you know how it turns out, but I know It’s going to be delicious :)

  19. Hi Mona,

    While I was going thru the food blogs my hubby asked me to see if there exists a recipe for Haleem since it’s Ramadan month….and I found yours…Thanku so muchhhh…Right on time…Looks yum…Thanks again