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Hyderabadi Haleem


Haleem is a very popular dish from my home town Hyderabad in India. This particular dish prepared in Hyderabad during the Ramadan month, is transported all over the world through a special courier service. It is traditionally cooked in large, wood-fired cauldrons. After a whole day’s fasting, the Muslim community usually retire with this powerhouse of a dish that satisfies a whole day’s nutrient requirements. Haleem is a dish that is enjoyed not only in India but in middle east too. The origins of this recipe date back to 10th century and it has evolved greatly to suit the palate of each country.

This recipe traditionally takes about 6-8 hours to cook but today we will try to whip this up in less than 3 hours. This is a dish that is worth the time and effort spent on it. It brings together a whole bunch of nutrient rich ingredients including lentils, meats and nuts. Go ahead and try this dish and trust me you will make it again and again.

Recipe is adapted based on Journey Kitchen’s recipe.

For Haleem:

  • 250g pounded/ broken wheat or small variety of wheat berries
  • ¾ – 1 kg mutton/lamb meat with bones
  • 1 tbsp chana dal
  • 1 tbsp urad dal
  • 1 tbsp moong dal
  • 1.5 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 1.5 tbsp green chili paste
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 cloves
  • 3-4 peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup milk or as required
  • 2 tsp roasted cumin powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • Salt as per taste

For tempering

  • 1/4 cup ghee
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds

For garnish

  • Chopped mint leaves
  • Julienne ginger
  • Fried onions
  • lemon wedges
  • Garam masala to sprinkle



  • Wash the wheat and soak overnight in double the water.
  • Add all the ingredients to the wheat (along with the water) and pressure cook it for 1 1/2 hours.
  • After 1 1/2 hr., the wheat should have completely softened and the meat should fall of the bone.
  • Remove the lid, keep cooking the mixture by continuously mashing the mixture for another half an hour and add milk as you do so.
  • Make sure the wheat completely disintegrates into the creamy mixture. Alternatively, you can separate the meat, the grind the mixture in a processor and add back the meat later.
  • Finally, heat the ghee till smoking and add the cumin seeds. Drizzle the ghee on the haleem while serving.
  • Garnish with mint, ginger, sprinkle of garam masala and lemon wedges.

I hear your stomach growl 🙂 I hope you enjoyed making and eating haleem. Chime in your comments/suggestions/ideas and let me know what you liked the most about this dish and what would you do differently.

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