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Another Ramadan Favourite!

I had this sudden urge for Haleem when I woke up this morning. Haleem is a delicate meat and lentil dish cooked over low heat.  I love the taste of the almost melted meat in this delicious concoction of spices, topped with ginger slices, cilantro, chilies and squeezed lemons. It was definitely one of my favourites to have during Ramadan, when I used to live in Bangladesh. Good Haleem is hard to find here! Even though I knew it would take a very long time to make, I decided that it would be the first Iftar(Fatur) item to make this year!  Haleem takes over 3 hours to make, so if you are planning to make this, make sure you have some time in your hands.

Haleem tastes delicious with naan bread


For the Meat:

1 Kg Lamb/beef/ goat

½ Cup Onions, sliced

½ Tbsp Garlic paste

1 Tbsp Ginger paste

1 Tsp Poppy Seed paste

1 Tsp Turmeric Powder

1 Tsp Cumin Powder

1 Tsp Coriander Powder

1/2 Tsp Black Pepper

1 Bay Leaf

1 Cinnamon Stick (4cm long)

3 Cardamoms

Salt to taste

Lentil Gravy:

75 grams Split Yellow Lentils

75 grams Split Red Lentils

75 grams Split Peas

75 grams Split Bengal Grams

75 grams Split Red Grams

½ Cup Basmati Rice

200 grams of Wheat Grains (crushed and soaked in water for 1 ½ hour)


Soak all the lentils and the rice in water for half an hour.

Soaking lentils

Prepare the meat in the meantime.

Chop up the meat into small pieces.

Preparing the meat for haleem

Heat up oil in a big pot. Add the onions and fry till they are golden brown.

Add the meat, to the pot, with all the listed masalas (spices). Mix well.

Stir and cook, till all the meat is well coated, with all the masalas.

Coating the masalas and incorporating that into the meat is called ‘Koshano’ in Bengali, this step is important, as I have mentioned before in my other recipes.

Then add water to cover the meat, and boil till the meat is well cooked. (It took me about half an hour)

Image of Meat cooking
Meat ‘koshano’

While the meat is cooking, lets prepare the lentils.

In another pot, boil the lentils, rice and wheat with some salt.

Once boiled, take out the mixture and put it through a food processor.

Now add to the meat mixture.

Pour 5 cups of water and simmer the Haleem mixture for 2 hours. Stirring with a wooden spoon occasionally.

The Haleem is done when the whole mixture looks more like a thick gravy with a few meat pieces.

Haleem being slowly cooked
Haleem being slowly cooked

Ladle the Haleem into bowls, top with the (below) listed ingredients, serve with naan bread.

Toppings for Haleem:

Cilantro leaves Ginger, cut into matchsticks Chilies Cucumber Onions Lemon/lime
Cilantro (mint tastes good too)Ginger, cut into matchsticks
Lemon (Lime is fine too)Onions

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