Haleem is one of the most sought after dishes, especially during the holy month of Ramadan. It is a highly nutritious dish comprising meat, wheat and lentils and cooked with spices for a few hours. The dish is served with coriander leaves, mint leaves, fried onion and lemon juice.
The first time I tasted this was during our stay in Secunderabad.
During Ramadan, quite a number of stalls sell haleem. The taste varies from stall to stall. It had been a while since I had eaten haleem. This time, I decided to try making it at home. I adapted a recipe from Fauzia’s Pakistani recipes. I reduced the quantity proportionately and used chicken in place of mutton/ beef. The lentils I used are green gram lentils, black gram lentils, Bengal gram lentils, red lentils and pigeon pea lentils.
500g – Minced chicken
160g – Wheat grains
1/3 cup – Green gram lentils
1/3 cup – Black gram lentils
1/3 cup – Bengal gram lentils
1/3 cup – Red lentils
1/3 cup – Pigeon pea lentils
1 – Thinly sliced onion
1-1/2 tsp – Garlic paste
1-1/2 tsp – Ginger paste
1/2 tsp – Garam masala powder
2 1/2 tsp – Chilli powder
2 tsp – Coriander powder
1/2 tsp – Turmeric powder
Salt to taste
A pinch of soda bicarbonate/cooking soda
1/3 cup – Clarified Butter/Ghee
Mint leaves (chopped)
Coriander leaves (chopped)
Onion (thinly sliced, fried)
1-2 tbsp – Lemon juice
Green chillies (finely chopped)
* Wash the wheat grains well and drain.
* Blitz the grains in a grinder.
* Soak in water for 1 1/2 hours.
* Cook the crushed wheat grains with salt, lots of water and a pinch of soda until tender and mushy. Keep aside.
* Rinse all the lentils and pressure cook until done. Allow to cool.
* Once cool, grind the mixture to a fine, smooth paste. Add adequate water while grinding.
* Keep this paste aside.
* Heat ghee in a pan.
* Fry the sliced onion till it is golden brown.
* Drain onto an absorbent paper. Keep aside.
* In the remaining ghee, add the ginger-garlic paste and chopped chilli and saute until cooked and the spices release aroma.
* Tip in the coriander powder, chilli powder, garam masala powder and turmeric powder and fry for a few seconds.
* Add the minced chicken or choice of meat and stir well.
* Add salt to taste. Cover and cook until the chicken is cooked through.
* Add the cooked wheat and the lentil paste to the chicken mixture. Mix well. Cook the mixture on low heat for at least an hour or till the mixture is well blended and has the desired consistency of a paste.
* Switch off heat.
* You may grind the mixture further to a paste if you wish.
* Serve haleem with lemon juice, fried onion, coriander leaves, mint leaves and chopped green chilli.