Year after year we look forward to the decadent spreads of Eid. Kebabs, nihari, biryani, sheer-paratha, the list of favourites is endless if you ask us.
However, there’s one dish that makes it to every celebratory table during Ramadan and Eid without fail – Haleem. The thick gruel that is usually made out of grains, meat and lard is delicious in every way. Historically, it is believed that haleem was the respite for the poor man back during the Mughal era in India.
While the rich could afford ghee (clarified butter), expensive nuts and dried fruit, the poor only had access to meat since livestock was abundant. So instead of ghee soaked kebabs, the ingenuity of a local shopkeeper in old Delhi’s bazaars gave birth to Haleem. Slow cooked in huge handis (vessels) for upto 16-18 hours, haleem is the humble mix of easily found grains, spices and meat that can be topped with fried onions and a splash of lime juice.
The result is a mouth-watering porridge-like dish that is full of umami from the meat and the gentle aroma of spices. While it is usually sold by the kilo during the festive season, most of us might have to give our favourite haleem stalls a miss this year. But there’s no need to worry, because we have the recipe to recreate those flavours at home while giving it a healthy touch!Recipe Oats Mutton Haleem (For 4 servings) Ingredients
- One cup mixed daal (tur daal, masoor daal, chana daal, udad daal)
- Half kg chicken
- 2 tbsp ginger/garlic paste
- 3 tsp salt
- 2 tsp red chilly powder
- 1 tsp haldi
- 4 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp garam masala powder
- 1 whole lime juice
- 2 medium sized chopped onions
- 3 medium sized chopped tomatoes
- 2 green chillies
- 1 tsp whole cumin seeds
- 4 tbsp oil
- 1 tbsp pure ghee
- 1 tsp kasuri methi
- Fried onions/barista
- Finely chopped cucumber, raw mango, coriander leaves, mint leaves and lemon juice.
- Wash and soak the mix daal and rice in one and a half glass of water for an hour.
- Boil chicken with one tsp salt and one tsp ginger garlic paste. Keep the stock aside and shred the chicken, making it boneless.
- Boil the daal/rice with one tsp salt and haldi powder.
- In a big wok, heat oil. Add cumin seeds and green chillies. When it splutters, add in the chopped onions and fry till golden brown.
- Add in ginger garlic paste and saute till it leaves a nice aroma. Add in all the masalas, except garam masala powder and kasuri methi. Cover and saute for 2 minutes on low flame.
- Add in the chopped tomatoes and fry for a minute more. Now add in the boiled daal+chicken+ stock+ oats+lemon juice. Mix really well, top to bottom. Add two glasses of water and allow it cook on low flame.
- Heat the pure ghee separately and fry in garam masala powder and kasuri methi. Add this to the cooking halim.
- In a serving dish, take a helping of the halim and garnish it with all the ingredients mentioned above.
Recipe by Shamim Merchant