Hyderabadi Haleem – Two versions:Traditional Mutton haleem and a Healthier Oats haleem for a Rare Recipe Challenge


Haleem is a traditional and royal dish of Hyderabad- the enchanting land of Nizams.Originally an Arabic dish, it was brought to Hyderabad centuries ago during the rule of the seventh Nizam and soon got it’s own local version which has become immensely popular world wide.  It is usually made in huge quantities in bhattis (cauldrons) and cooked on slow fire over firewood for 10-12 hours. Though Haleem is available round the year in restaurants and served as a delicacy during Hyderabadi weddings, it is synonymous with the holy month of Ramadan. Almost every street in the entire city of Hyderabad has a haleem kiosk during the fasting month of Ramadan. Delicious, nutritious haleem is cooked whole day and ready to be served at sunset when the fast is broken. It is relished by people of all religions and ages, whether or not they are fasting.

Pic courtesy:Google
Haleem kiosk during Ramadan                         Pic courtesy:Google










When  Lin@Lin’s Recipes  threw a Rare Recipe Challenge and wanted someone to take up haleem, I couldn’t let it pass by. Because Hyderabad is my hometown and haleem is a favorite. Lin is an amazing food blogger and writer who presents her recipes in a novel way (pun intended). She keeps posting interesting challenges and this is one of them. Our dear old Jhuls@thenotsocreativecook happens to be our judge. She is one of the most creative cooks around and her recipes are fabulous. Do check out her yummy blog for a mouth watering display of food. And please do not forget to check out other interesting and rare recipes in the challenge.

Hyderabadi haleem now has its vegetarian,sweet and healthy variations. It is made with lamb/beef/chicken/fish/emu meats. but the traditional version popular in Hyderabad is the one made with lamb meat. I am posting two versions of Haleem- the traditional one and a healthier one with oats.

The healthier version recipe is my aunt-inlaw’s. She makes some amazing Hyderabadi dishes. She recently sent me a box of delicious haleem made with chicken and oats and I took the recipe from her. I will be posting that one too. Do try both the recipes and let me know which one you like.

Hyderabadi Haleem- Traditional version

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: hard
  • Print


  • 1 kg  boneless mutton pieces
  •  200g broken/cracked Wheat
  • 1 heaped tbsp. ginger garlic paste 
  • 1 cup Urad daal (de-husked black lentil)
  • 1 cup Chana daal (split bengal gram)  
  • 300 ml. Curds(yogurt)
  • 1 tsp. Red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. coriander seeds powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garam masala powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin seeds powder
  • 4 medium onions, sliced fine
  •  3 whole cardamoms
  • one 3 inch cinnamon stick
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 8 black peppercons
  • 1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 4 green chillies
  • 1 tomato, chopped fine
  • 1 tbsp. Ghee+ 1/2 tsp. red chilli powder for garnish
  • salt to taste
  • fried cashewnuts for sprinkling
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil


  1. Rinse and soak broken wheat and both lentils (urad and chana) in 10 cups water for 4-5 hours.
  2. In a heavy bottomed vessel, pour 1/2 cup oil and fry the onions until they turn crisp and golden brown.
  3. Add cardamom, cinnamon and cloves to the fried onions and fry them for a minute.
  4. Next add mutton pieces in to the vessel.  Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder and saute well till oil separates. Add two glasses of water. Cover and leave to cook until mutton is tender. You can alternatively cook it in a pressure cooker for faster cooking.
  5. When the meat is tender shred it with the back of a spoon and/or a fork.
  6. Season with  salt, coriander powder, garam masala and cumin powder. Add green chillies,  coriander leaves,  mint leaves, chopped tomato, yogurt and a cup of water. Mix well and put the vessel back on heat.
  7. Cover lid and cook for another 15-20 minutes till oil separates.
  8. In another vessel, add soaked broken wheat, urad and chana dal mixture along with the water, 1/2 tsp. salt, peppercons and a pinch of turmeric powder and cook covered on medium flame for 15-20 minutes. Keep stirring  as the mixture can stick to the bottom.Add water if needed.
  9. When the mixture becomes very soft and pasty. Turn off heat.
  10. Add the shredded mutton along with the yogurt and spice mixture. Mix and mash well with a wooden spoon.
  11. Turn on the stove and cook the mixture on low flame for one hour while stirring  every 2 minutes.
  12. In a small pan put the ghee and turn on low heat. Add 1/2 tsp. red chilli powder and turn off heat. Keep separately for garnish.

How to serve:

Ladle in a cup of haleem in an individual serving plate and put a teaspoon of the spiced ghee over it. Garnish with some fried onions, a lemon wedge and some cashews. Serve hot.


crisp fried onions
crisp fried onions

Haleem being cooked on low heat on stove top














Oats and Chicken Haleem

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients for step 1:

  • 3 cups broken wheat
  • 1/3 cup Oats
  • 1/3 cup Chana daal (split bengal gram)
  • 1/3 cup Urad daal (de-husked black lentil)
  • 12 green chillies
  • 1 bunch Coriander leaves chopped
  • 1 bunch mint leaves chopped
  • 2 tsp. ginger garlic paste

Put all these ingredients in a pressure cooker with enough water and cook on high heat for 5 minutes and on low heat for an hour. Remove from heat and mash with the back of a wooden spoon or a wooden masher.

Ingredients for step 2:

  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 4 onions sliced
  • 1 tbsp. ginger garlic paste
  • 2 tbsp. dry coconut ground to a paste
  • 1 tbsp. peanut paste
  • 8 almonds ground to a paste
  • 1 tsp. kababchini powder(tailed pepper)
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • 1 tsp. red chilli powder
  • 1 and 1/4 cup yogurt
  • 1 and 1/4 kg. chicken
  • salt to taste
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • crisp fried onions for garnish

In a deep bottom vessel, put oil and fry the onions till golden. Then saute the ginger garlic paste. Add the coconut,peanut,almond pastes one by one. Saute till oil separates. Add red chilli powder, kababchini powder,garam masala,salt,yogurt and chicken. Saute well. Add a glass of water,cover and cook till chicken is tender. Remove from heat and separate the bones and shred the chicken with the help of a fork. Discard the bones.

Add the wheat and oats mixture and mix well. Put the vessel on low heat for 20 minutes stirring all the while.Add lemon juice and take off heat.

Serve hot with fried onions,lemon wedges and some mint.


Hyderabad fondly known as the ‘Pearl City’ is an enchanting land of heritage monuments,forts,palaces, lakes, museums, gardens, software parks and more importantly a delectable cuisine fit for the kings. The once princely state was a kingdom of the wealthy and powerful Qutubshahi and Asafjahi rulers. The relics of their glorious rule can still be seen all over the city. Hyderabad has now emerged as the seat of India’s mighty Software dynasty. but what is remarkable about this city is that it has not lost  its princely charm while catering to the city’s new royalty. Hyderabadi food even today can boast of the aristocratic touch.


Do try some more interesting recipes from the wonderful land of Hyderabad:


Delicious Hyderabadi Lamb stew
Delicious Hyderabadi Lamb stew











Dum ka Murgh










Hyderabadi Fish curry

Hyderabadi Fish curry
Hyderabadi Fish curry







Khoobani ka Meetha

Apricot sweet
Apricot sweet







Enjoy these yummy dishes while i take my two versions of haleem to Lin’s Rare recipe challenge…..


106 thoughts on “Hyderabadi Haleem – Two versions:Traditional Mutton haleem and a Healthier Oats haleem for a Rare Recipe Challenge

  1. I would mind trying both the versions…xD..I have been searching like crazy for a traditional Haleem recipe for ages and ages! Now that I have it I just want to scream! What a wonderful contribution! You are the best! I am so glad to have you as a part..I love everything in this post from the pictures to the recipe to the healthier version of it! You are absolutely marvelous!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Beautiful, SKD! Halim, we call it in Farsi, is a VERY popular comfort food for the Persians. I have a friend who makes halim after Thanksgiving, using all the bones for its stock and the leftover turkey meat, It is marvelous. Have seen many halims, I must say, both yours look heavenly! I don’t know why, it is the last thing I imagined to see on a blog. 😀 )))

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow! Thank you dear Fae for your kind words. It made my day. Does Haleem in Farsi mean ‘patience ‘ . I read somewhere that the lengthy and tiresome process of making haleem in huge cauldrons requires lot of patience and hence it got it’s name. I am not sure though. Are the spices used in Persian haleem are different from the Hyderabadi version. Would love to learn the Persian Haleem recipe too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Most probably the recipe varies from region to region. I have never made it myself, but based on what I have observed and partook, basic Persian recipe has far less ingredients than Hyderabadi version you have here. Same method for ingredients: meat: lamb, veal, beef, chicken or turkey, onion(s), soaked whole wheat, salt. For garnish, melted butter is drizzled on top sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. I am one of minority who does not like this sweet garnish. I prefer having plain or with a few drops of lemon juice, which is apparently unusual. As for the word ‘haleem’, I am not sure… most probably we inherited the Arabic word.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Ana, I have been craving Haleem for days- feel that it is perfect in the winter! I love both your recipes. Love seeing Hyderabad and the information and history of Haleem is fascinating! Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I have not tasted the ‘authentic’ haleem, Ana. I would love to visit Hyderabad during Ramadan. I have heard so many wonderful an delicious stories about it!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow! What a wonderful choice, Ana. I never heard or tried this kind of dish before. I love that you made your introduction of the dish first and I love that you have two versions, though I know both of them sound fabulously good. 😀 Haleem sounds like a very flavorful dish and very aromatic – yum!

    Hyderabad seems like a lovely place and I’d love to visit one day.
    Thank you for taking part at Rare Recipe Challenge. Looking forward to more delicious recipes. 😀

    x Jhuls

    PS: Thank you so much for your kind words. x

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much for liking it dear Jhuls. It is very nutritious and energising. That is why it is very popular as an Iftar dish during Ramadan. The best part is no one needs to make it at home during the fasting month. Every street has a haleem vendor. They make it with pure Ghee, lamb meat and dry fruits. The process of making it in large cauldrons for 8 to 12 hours results in the most delicious, melt in the mouth, flavorful dish ever. Then the haleem is washed down with tea before proceeding for prayers. Beautiful beautiful experience in all.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. And please do visit Hyderabad. You will love the warmth and laziness around besides enjoying delicious food.If you let me know in advance I will drop in from wherever I am and would gladly be your tour guide 😊


    1. Thank you Linda ☺ You must see the demand for haleem during Ramadan. Almost 90% of people who are fasting break their fast with dates and Haleem. Mutton haleem is the most popular. People who cannot fit it in their budget for 30 days eat Chicken or beef haleem. And you know I have seen a few kiosks selling Emu meat haleem.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Cauliflower, white pumpkin, potato, carrot, French beans, and broccoli are mostly used as substitutes for meat while the spices remain the same. I haven’t prepared it so far but would love to do that soon.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for the kind words.Hyderabad is known for its royal heritage and culinary extravaganza. Haleem is as popular as the Hyderabadi Biryani. And relished not only by the locals but tourists make it a point to try these two dishes before leaving Hyderabad.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I find that foods cooked with herbs and spices always have a story to tell, and philosophy to teach.

        The Haleem reminds me of Indonesian “Rendang”, in the sense of its popularity and its richness of cultural and culinary values. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. How interesting!! I will look for the recipe. I will love to find out why it was her favorite and how different it is from the other Wings recipes. It must be really good. Thanks for letting me know. I have still not forgotten the spooky tale of a village you had narrated☺

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh these two Haleem dishes from Hyderbad are just mouth-watering Ana. The gravy looks so lush and tempting. I can only imagine what the end result must have been. Gorgeous! Loved the history to it too.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great post, skd… I love learning about “new to me” foods and this certainly falls into that category! The dishes look hearty and delicious and I’m guessing prepared with love! Delightful!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. How lovely that this recipe came from your hometown! Hyderabad looks beautiful (and all the different dishes you shared sound delicious). I love the two different versions (it’s such a versatile dish!), and just looking at the ingredients list is enough to convince me how incredible it must taste!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for the kind words ☺ If we eat this kind of every day. ..yes it is easy to gain a ton 😉But they are kept for special occasions. But don’t keep yourself from visiting India. You will love the diversity in cultures and cuisines.There are 29 states in India and each one has its own rich cultural heritage and local cuisine.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Haleem….its a very typical recipe….my husband is die hearted fan….omg……but i never tasted it before…. All are so crazy about bit…. During ramadan….,every day they must go for it…..you made this recipe!!!!!!!?….. Omg you are amazing…😊☺️👌👌👌👌👌👍👍👍💐💐🌹👏

    Liked by 2 people

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