Ramadan Series: Haleem by Chef Vinod Radhakrishnan

The origin of haleem lies in the popular Arabian dish known as Harees. This is a favourite from Hyderabad, earlier known as the city of Charminar and the city of nawabs. It is prepared in a delicious spice mix and flavoured extensively with the most subtle spices and flavours. The blend of meat with wheat and choicest lentils well combined with the gentle spices and the intense cooking infused together produce a mouthwatering delicacy which is well appreciated by millions. This is one dish which is a trademark of Hyderabad and is best known for the aroma of subtle spices and ghee in the most unique blend.

I have my faintest memory of haleem in my childhood which surprised me by its flavour, which was offered by a neighbour (which I did not appreciate by its looks though…sic), however, has not left my palette thence…

Haleem

INGREDIENTS

For cooking mutton(these ingredients are needed for step 1 in instructions):

  • 750 gms boneless mutton/meat cleaned and washed well
  • 4 green chillies
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 3-4 small cinnamon sticks
  • 4 cloves
  • 2-3 green cardamoms
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1 tbsp black pepper corns
  • salt – to taste
  • 1 cup water

For cooking dals(these ingredients are needed for step 2 in instructions:

  • ½ cup broken wheat
  • 1 tsp mash ki dal/urad dal
  • 1 tsp chick pea gram
  • 1 tsp yellow moong dal
  • salt – to taste
  • 750 ml water

Other ingredients needed while mixing mutton and dals (these ingredients are needed for step 4 in instructions):

  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 4 medium sized onions finely sliced
  • ½ bunch freshly chopped coriander leaves
  • 2 slit green chillies
  • 10 gm Julienne of ginger
  • 5-6 tbsp pure ghee

Ingredients for garnishing:

  • Freshly chopped coriander leaves
  • Freshly chopped mint leaves
  • Deep fried onions
  • 1-2 lemons cut into 4 halves

INSTRUCTIONS

Step 1(Cook the mutton):

  1. Firstly, in a pressure cooker, add the mutton chunks, about 8 green chillies, ginger garlic paste.
  2. Add whole spices such as cloves, cardamoms, cinnamon, caraway seeds (shahi zeera), black peppercorns.
  3. Add salt as per taste, add turmeric powder.
  4. Add a little water, mix well and cook the mutton until it is tender.

Step 2(Cook the dals):

  1. Take a pressure cooker, into it add daliya/broken wheat, add urad dal, add toovar dal, add chana dal, add yellow moong dal and rice.
  2. Add about 3 glasses of water and pressure cook until the dals get soft.

Step 3 (Blending the mutton and dals):

  1. In a blender, add the cooked mutton and blend into a fine paste and transfer it into a bowl or vessel.
  2. In the same blender, add the cooked dals and blend into a fine paste and keep aside.

Step 4 (Mix the cooked mutton and dals):

  1. In a separate cooking pot, add oil, add 4 medium size sliced onions and fry until golden brown.
  2. Add fresh coriander leaves, mint leaves, green chillies, mix well.
  3. Add the blended paste of dals and also the blended paste of mutton into it.
  4. Mix it well and keep stirring and mixing until the mutton and dals get mixed well evenly.
  5. Add the mutton stock and mix well.
  6. Add pure ghee all over and mix.
  7. Cover the lid and cook it for about 15 minutes on low flame.
  8. Remove the lid and give a mix.
  9. Switch off the flame.
  10. Haleem is ready to serve.

Serving:

  1. Serve haleem in bowls, in each bowl, add deep fried onions, add coriander leaves, mint leaves, lemon slices, ginger julienne and serve hot.
  2. Sprinkle lemon extract all over the haleem while eating for a slightly tangy taste.

 

Vinod Radhakrishnan

A food production professional for the last 20 years, graduating in hotel management from India, he subsequently obtained a Masters in Hospitality Management from Wales Bridge University, USA. Has been associated with some of the finest international hotel chains such as Hyatt, Intercontinental (Six Continents Club) etc. and various fine dining outlets in the GCC and the Middle East. Has also been part of pre-opening properties (hotel & restaurants) in these regions namely Oman, Qatar & Bahrain. A culinary trainer for the last 10 yrs. working in culinary schools in India and the UAE, he has been with ICCA since 2006 and has been instrumental in developing its training curriculum. A certified food safety ​ ​trainer​, certified instructor from American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) as well.

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