Haleem is a rich lentil-based stew that has shredded meat and tastes unique. It is popular in parts of India, other Southeast Asian countries, and the Middle east. I tried it for the first time in the Uae. There was a Pakistani restaurant close to where we lived. Those days I was culinarily challenged, and my cooking skills were below average. However, I was trying out new tastes and experiencing a whole new level of food journey, eating my way through different cuisines.
I was a fan of the Haleem they served. Haleem cooking is a tedious process and takes a lot of time. The best part is it comes with a lot of garnish. They bring the whole dish together. The kind and amount of grains used in Haleem are essential for this dish. Whole and powdered Indian spices used in the recipe are readily available. You can also use the ‘Haleem masala” available in the market.
The only difficult step in the whole process is shredding the chicken. Of course, you can opt for boneless chicken pieces, but I wanted the bones to release some flavor into the stew.
Another tip is to keep the onion slices thin to crisp up and get the gorgeous golden color. Plus, it saves time.
I hope you do make this delicious stew for your family. Serve it with warm bread and all the garnish.
Preparation time: 25-30 minutes
Cooking time: 20-25 minutes
- Broken wheat 30 gms
- Red lentil 15 gms
- Mung daal (yellow lentil) 15 gms
- Chicken thighs 1 kg (bone-in)
- Onion 2
- Ginger garlic paste 1 tbsp
- Yogurt 3 tbsp
- Cumin seeds ¼ tsp
- Cinnamon stick 1
- Cardamom 2-3
- Cloves 3-4
- Bay leaf 1
- Red chilli powder ½ tsp
- Cumin powder ½ tsp
- Coriander powder ¼ tsp
- Curry powder ¼ tsp
- Turmeric powder 1 tsp
- Salt and pepper
- Ginger julienned 1 tbsp
- Green chilies 1-2 chopped
- Clarified butter 2 tbsp
- Dried red chilies 2-3
- Lime ½
- Fresh coriander leaves
- Soak the broken wheat overnight and lentils for 30 minutes.
- Cook the soaked grains together in a pressure cooker with half turmeric powder and salt. Once they get cooked, use a hand blender to blend into an even soup-like consistency.
- Fry the sliced onions in a shallow pan in batches. Don’t overcrowd and fry till light golden brown.
- Next, heat some oil in a deep bottom pan or pressure cooker. Add cumin seeds and whole spices. Next, add the ginger-garlic paste and fry till they are fragrant.
- Finally, add the chicken pieces and let them get some nice coloration on the surface. Try and remove the whole spices before proceeding to the next step.
- Add all the powdered spices, fried onions, and yogurt. Mix everything till well combined. Add a little water and cook till the meat comes off easily.
- Use a fork to shred the cooked chicken.
- Add the shredded chicken to the soup along with salt and pepper. Let everything come to a boil, and then turn off the heat.
- At the time of serving, temper the stew with clarified butter and dried red chilies. Garnish with julienned ginger, fried onions, chopped coriander, and chilies.