From Turkey to Deccan India: The mythical meat porridge Haleem


1. Wash the lentils and soak them in water for about 2-3 hours.

2. Next, put the lentils in a saucepan and boil them with 2 cups of water. While cooking, add half a teaspoon of turmeric.

3. In a separate pot, boil the daliya (cracked wheat) in 1 cup of water, adding half a teaspoon of turmeric powder.

4. Cook dal and daliya separately, taking about 30-40 minutes. Then drain the excess water using a colander and let them cool.

5. Once the mixture has cooled, purée them finely. Strain the puree and set aside.

6. Take a saucepan, heat some ghee, about 30 grams or 2 ½ tablespoons and sauté the pieces of mutton. Toss and turn the pieces regularly, making sure the sides sear well. Cook them just enough to trap the water but be careful not to caramelize them. Note: You can marinate the mutton with salt, a tablespoon of yogurt, red chili powder, turmeric powder and other spices, cover and refrigerate for an hour.

7. Next, remove the seared mutton from the pan and transfer it to a pressure cooker.

8. Deglaze the pan (the one in which you cooked the mutton) with the mutton broth and add it to the pressure cooker. Note: Deglazing involves adding liquid to a hot pan, which helps loosen any caramelized bits stuck to the bottom of the pan.

9. Pressure cook the mutton over medium heat, cooking for 12-15 whistles.

10. Once the mutton is cooked, drain it. Separate the broth, let the cooked mutton and broth cool separately.

11. Using a meat hammer or other sturdy equipment, crush the mutton to break it into small pieces. Note: You can use a thick rolling pin or even the bottom of a large saucepan to beat the meat. Just be sure to wrap the meat before beating it for hygienic reasons and also so it doesn’t scatter. After breaking the meat into small pieces, add it to the broth to retain moisture.

12. Next, take a saucepan and heat the remaining ghee, about three tablespoons. Add the ginger-garlic paste and sauté.

13. Once the batter becomes translucent, add the haleem masala and yellow chili powder and cook. At this point, add broth, a couple of tablespoons and cook the spices with it. This way the masalas will not burn.

14. Next, add the sliced ​​tomatoes and cook.

15. Once the tomatoes are cooked, remove them and strain the mixture using a fine strainer (sieve or filter).

16. Next, add the drained tomato mixture to a saucepan and the dal and daliya puree that has been reserved, and cook them together over medium heat, then add the mutton, broth and sliced ​​brown onions to the pan. pan. Cook over medium heat for about half an hour.

17. Cook until the mutton is well combined and the entire mixture reaches a porridge-like consistency.

18. At this point, taste the haleem to check the seasoning and spice levels. Then add salt or other spices according to your preference.

19. Garnish with chopped mint and julienned ginger.

To make a small pot of haleem masala, you will need 2 tbsp coriander seeds, 2 tbsp cumin seeds, 1 tbsp caraway seeds or ajwain (carom seeds), 1 2 tbsp black cumin seeds, 2 crushed bay leaves, crushed, 2 1 inch cinnamon stick, 2 black cardamoms, 8 green cardamoms, 8 cloves, 2 tbsp fennel seeds, 15 red chillies , 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp turmeric powder, 1/2 tbsp salt or to taste.

Dry roast the whole spices and grind them into a fine powder. The Haleem masala recipe was adapted from food blogger Mariam Sodawater of

Recipe courtesy of Chef Gaurav Yadav, Robaru Indian Restaurant, Dubai

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