Haleem a.k.a halim is a quintessential stew popular in the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Indian subcontinent. Traditionally made during Ramadan, haleem is a staple, for iftar, to break the day long fast as it is wholesome, rich in protein and easily digestible. Although the dish varies from region to region, it always includes wheat, meat, grains and pulses. Across the Middle East it is known as harees, in the Indian subcontinent the dish is called haleem. Hearty piping hot haleem makes a wholesome dinner through out no Ramadan months too.
Bangladeshi style haleem is usually chunkier than Indian Hyderabadi or Pakistani style Haleem. While Indian and Pakistani style Haleem requires smashing and hand pounding the meat, Bangladeshi style haleem uses small chunks of meat with bones. As you slow cook the stew, the marrows and juices from the bones add extra flavor to the stew like dish. Serve it like a stew or eat it with naan.
Haleem is a perfect marriage of texture and flavor. A spoonful of haleem is a kaleidoscope of flavors. The taste, smell and feel of the dish is certainly unique, wholesome and hearty. The texture of haleem is a result of slow cooking the ingredients for 4-5 hours while the unique flavor is attributed to the correct mix of ingredients and spices. The texture from wheat, pulses and meat, the right mix of spices garnished with cilantro, beresta (fried onion), lime wedges, and freshly julienned ginger make haleem nothing short of a masterpiece.
- ½ cup wheat
- ¼ cup red lentil (masoor dal)
- ¼ cup mung dal
- ¼ urad dal
- ¼ yellow split pea (chana dal)
- 1 tablespoon chopped ginger
- 3-4 red chili
- 3 tablespoon chaat masala
- ½cup beresta
- 2 tablespoon oil
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- FOR MEAT
- 2.5 lb Beef with bone
- 1 tablespoon ginger paste
- ½ cup onion, sliced
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 2 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoon cumin powder
- 2 teaspoon coriander powder
- 2 bayleaves
- 3-4 cinnamon sticks, about 1 inch each
- 3-4 cardamom
- 2 teaspoon salt, or per taste
- ½ cup oil
- FOR GARNISH
- 1 tablespoon julienned ginger
- 2 tablespoon beresta
- 2 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
- Soak wheat and all the pulses in water for 5-6 hours or over night.
- In a heavy-bottomed pan add ingredients to cook meat. Cover the pan and cook in medium heat till the water from the beef almost dries up, stirring occasionally. Set aside once the beef is cooked.
- Drain water from the wheat and lentil mix. Add 6 cups of water, the chopped ginger, and the red chillies to the mix.
- Cook the wheat and lentil mix for 2-3 hours in medium heat stirring time to time. Add more water if needed.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, until wheat is tender and the mix is sticky and blended.
- Using an immersion blender, blend the mix into purée consistency.
- Add cooked meat, chaat masala and beresta and cook for another 45 minutes, stirring often.
- Heat 2 tablespoon oil and fry the chopped garlic until fragrant.
- Add the oil and garlic mix to the haleem.
- Serve haleem garnished with julienned ginger, chopped cilantro and lemon wedges.
Instead of whole wheat, you can use cracked wheat too.
PS. I’m entering this recipe for the Muslim Food bloggers February challenge. Check out the other recipes here –