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.
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
- 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
- Rinse and soak broken wheat and both lentils (urad and chana) in 10 cups water for 4-5 hours.
- In a heavy bottomed vessel, pour 1/2 cup oil and fry the onions until they turn crisp and golden brown.
- Add cardamom, cinnamon and cloves to the fried onions and fry them for a minute.
- 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.
- When the meat is tender shred it with the back of a spoon and/or a fork.
- 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.
- Cover lid and cook for another 15-20 minutes till oil separates.
- 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.
- When the mixture becomes very soft and pasty. Turn off heat.
- Add the shredded mutton along with the yogurt and spice mixture. Mix and mash well with a wooden spoon.
- Turn on the stove and cook the mixture on low flame for one hour while stirring every 2 minutes.
- 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.
Oats and Chicken Haleem
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:
Enjoy these yummy dishes while i take my two versions of haleem to Lin’s Rare recipe challenge…..