Slow-cooked recipes sure are pretty time consuming and challenging at times to recreate. However, nothing beats the pleasure of this authentic, slow-cooked, Pakistani Haleem Recipe. Haleem was introduced and popularized during the Mughal reign in the subcontinent. The irony of this dish is that ‘Haleem’ translates to ‘patient’ in Arabic. Thus, advising one to stay patient during the slow cooking process of this dish.
We highly recommend you try this Pakistani Haleem Recipe and impress your friends and family with this earthy, flavorful dish enriched with wholesome spices and topped with an array of garnishes to enhance the likeliness of the dish. Serve the Haleem with some piping hot Naans. You will experience the divine flavors of South Asian cuisine from the comfort of your home.
Pakistani Haleem Recipe
- Hand Blender
- Large-sized pot
- ½ kg soup bones (of preferred meat, lamb or beef)
- 1000 mls/1 liter of water
- ¼ cup canola cooking oil (see tips)
- 1000 mls/1 liter + (extra) 2-3 tbsp of water
- ½ kg Lamb/Beef meat (boneless)
- 2 large onions sliced
- 3 tbsp freshly minced ginger and garlic or ginger garlic paste
- 8-10 whole black peppercorns
- 5 cloves
- 2 medium-sized cinnamon sticks
- 2 large bay leaves
- 1 tbsp salt or as per taste
- 2 tbsp red chili powder (see tips)
- 1 tbsp turmeric powder
- 2000 mls/2liters of water
- ½ cup of whole wheat kernels (without skin) soaked overnight
- ½ cup barley soaked overnight
- ½ cup split Bengal grams soaked overnight
- ¼ cup split orange lentils soaked overnight
- ½ cup white lentils soaked overnight
- ¼ cup split yellow lentils soaked overnight
- 2 tbsp turmeric powder
- 1 tbsp salt or as per taste
- 2 large bay leaves
- ½ tsp nutmeg powder/ freshly grated nutmeg
- ½ tsp mace powder
- 1 tbsp cumin powder
- 1000 mls/ 1 liter + (extra) 120 mls/1/2 cup of water
- 1 tbsp gram flour (roasted)
Garnish and tempering
- 1-inch piece of ginger cut in julienne
- 2-3 green chilies chopped
- ½ a bunch of mint leaves
- ½ a bunch of coriander leaves/cilantro
- ¼ cup oil
- 1 large onion sliced
- 2 tbsp Chaat Masala
- 1- ½ cup of fried onions
- Lemon wedges or 3-4 tbsp fresh lime/lemon juice
For beef/lamb stock
- In a large pot placed over medium heat, add the water along with the soup bones and mix until bones are well submerged. Cover the pot and allow the bones to cook over a low flame for 40-45 minutes. (see tips)
- Strain the stock, discard the bones, and set aside for later.
For beef/lamb mixture
- In a large pot, add the oil along with the onions and fry until brown.
- Add the freshly minced ginger and garlic or ginger garlic paste and sauté until light golden brown. Add the turmeric powder, salt, bay leaves, whole black peppercorns, cinnamon sticks, and red chili powder and mix well.
- Add in the 2-3 tbsp of water to the pot to prevent the spices from burning.
- Place the boneless lamb/beef and continue to stir with the spices for 2-3 minutes over medium heat.
- Add 1 liter of water and allow it to reach boiling point. Cover the pot and allow the meat to cook until it well done and tender. This should take approximately 1 hour.
- Discard the bay leaves and mash/shred the meat nicely, set aside.
For the lentil/gram mixture
- In another large pot, add the presoaked lentils and grams (barley, wheat, split Bengal grams, split orange lentils, white lentils, split yellow lentils) along with the 2 liters of water, bay leaves, salt, and turmeric powder, mix well. Bring to a boil, cover the pot and allow the lentils to cook with the spices for an hour or just until tender.
- Discard the bay leaves and use a hand blender to blend the entire mixture to ensure lentils are well mashed. (see tips)
- Add the pre-made lamb/beef stock to the lentil mixture along with the shredded lamb/beef and mix well.
- Add in a liter of water or as required (see tips) and allow the mixture to come to a gentle simmer.
- In the extra ½ cup of water, add in the roasted gram flour along with the mace powder, cumin powder, and nutmeg powder mix until well incorporated and add it to the haleem mixture. Cook the haleem for 5-6 minutes, cover and remove from heat.
For garnish and tempering
- Add in the green chilies, ginger, mint leaves, coriander leaves/cilantro, and mix well.
- In a frying pan, add the oil and fry the onion until golden brown.
- Add the fried onions over the haleem and serve haleem with extra fried onions, lemon wedges/juice, chaat masala, green chilies, ginger, and fresh coriander/mint. Enjoy!
- You can use any neutral-flavored oil, some of which include peanut, canola, safflower, corn, and grape seed oil. Such kinds of oils are used specifically to avoid the strong essence and flavorings other oils may possess, olive oil, for instance.
- The amount of red chili depends entirely on your personal preference. You can always add more for an extra kick of heat, or less for a balanced mild dish.
- The longer you cook the stock, the better as it brings richness to the dish. If the water starts to dry out, you can always add a little water at a time to continue the process of cooking.
- You do not have to use a hand blender, especially if you wish for your haleem to be a bit chunky, instead, you can gently press on the mixture with a spoon or a masher until lentils break apart slightly.
- The amount of water you need to add after the meat and stock has been combined with the lentils depends on the consistency of your haleem. You can check if the haleem is too thick and is sticking to the bottom of the pot. Then add a little water at a time. However, you must keep in mind that the haleem will naturally thicken as it cools down.