Haleem is a savory porridge made with meat, wheat and lentils. A traditional favorite in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and middle-eastern countries, this one pot meal is amazingly appetizing and wholesome. Traditionally it is often slow cooked in huge pots overnight and is a staple food in the months of Ramadan.
Other times of the year it is often served as street food or a dish to feed the crowd. Therefore, when we were recovering from COVID , our palette wanted something delicious while our body demanded something nutritious. The best way to replenish our body and soul was to prepare a haleem. However, this haleem was not slow cooked for overnight but was prepared in approximately two hours. You can further reduce the cooking time by using a pressure cooker. I somehow do not like using a pressure cooker while making meat. My grandmother used to often say that cooking meat in a pressure cooker spoils the texture of the meat. However, if you are in real crunch of time and yet want to prepare this delicacy you can use a pressure cooker.
However, if you are keeping roja this ramadan, wishing you happy iftar and Eid-ul-Fitr to all of you.
- 1 kg of mutton/beef
- ¼ cup of whole wheat grain
- ¼ cup of rice
- ¼ cup of musoor daal/red lentil
- ¼ cup of chana daal/ Bemgal gram lentil
- ¼ cup of moong daal
- ¼ cup of urad daal/split skinned black lentil
- 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
- 1 tablespoon of red chili powder
- 2 onions thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon of ginger paste
- 1½ tablespoon of garlic paste
- 3-4 green chilies
- 1 tablespoon of ghee
- ¼ cup of oil
- ½ teaspoon of fenugreek seeds
- ½ teaspoon of mustard seeds
- 1 tablespoon of thinly sliced ginger
- Salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon of chopped coriander leaves
- Lemon wedges
For Haleem Masala
- 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds (jeera)
- 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds (mouri)
- 1 teaspoon of coriander seeds (dhone)
- 4 pieces of green cardamom pods
- 1 piece of black cardamom pod
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 inch cinnamon stick
- 3 dry red chilies
- 1 star anise
- 8-10 black pepper
- ⅛ nutmeg
- 2 mace
Making Haleem Masala
- Take all the spices listed under haleem masala. Dry roast the spices on low medium flame.
- Grind the spices to a fine powder and keep the haleem masala aside.
Preparing the Haleem
- Take the rice, wheat, musoor daal, moong daal, urad daal, chana daal in a bowl. Wash them properly and strain them to remove all the water.
- In a pan dry roast the grains on low flame. Blend the grains to a coarse mixture. Do not make fine powder
- Add about 2 cups of warm water to the grain mixture and let it sit for about half an hour.
- In a kadai, take oil and heat it. To the hot oil, add the thinly sliced onions and fry them to golden brown colour.
- To fried onions, add the ginger garlic paste and continue sauteing them.
- Add turmeric powder and red chili powder to the kadai and saute everything together for about 15 seconds.
- Add the meat pieces to the kadai along with salt and mix everything in the kadai properly.
- Add about 1½ tablespoon of haleem masala mix to the kadai.
- Then add in about 2 cups of warm water to the kadai and cook the meat covered.
- Continue cooking till the meat is completely cooked and oil starts releasing from the sides of the kadai. Add warm water if necessary In my case it took around 50 minutes.
- Add the grain mixture mix to the kadai along with all the water.
- Add about 2 cups of warm water to the kadai. Cook the haleem on medium flame stirring occasionally. (See Notes)
- After about 25-30 minutes when the lentils, rice and wheat are cooked completely, add about 1 tablespoon of haleem masala and stir in the spice mixture. Adjust the seasoning.
- In a pan, heat ghee. To the hot ghee, add the fenugreek and mustard seeds and let them crackle. Add the sliced ginger also to the hot ghee. Add the tempered ghee along with the spices to the haleem.
- Squeeze lemon to the haleem. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve.
- The grains are heavier and tend to settle at the bottom and stick to the kadai. Therefore, the mixture should be stirred occasionally.
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