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Haleem | হালিম

Updated: Jun 5, 2022

I have actually been thinking of making this dish for quite a while now. Maybe, I was just procrastinating about the long list of ingredients as well as the long process. I don't mean to intimidate you tho. But I guess hard work does pay off because this is an incredible dish and 100% worth the effort.

This is a very popular dish during the Ramadan or Muharram period among Pakistanis and Muslims in Inda. Haleem or Halim derives from an Arab dish called Harees which is a porridge of boiled wheat and meat. There are lots of different variations.

This is a West Bengali version that is inspired by the wonderful people at Bong Eats. I learn a lot recipes from their cooking channel, so please check them out and subscribe to their channel while you are at it.

You can use mutton or lamb. I only eat chicken, so this is my chicken version of Haleem. On a side note, if you cannot find cubeb, you can use allspice with black peppercorns. The ratio is 2:1. Cubeb is a very underrated spice from Indonesia; it is like allspice but with a black peppery aroma. I know this is a long process, but I guarantee it is 100% worth it. Give this recipe a try and savor every mouthful of hearty, flavorful and yummiliciousness.



Inspired by Bong Eats

(Serve 8)

  • Grains:

  • Wheat, 150g

  • Barley, 50g

  • Mixed Dal / Lentils, 40g

  • Rice, 10g

  • Stock:

  • Chicken Bones, 500g

  • Red Onion Finely Sliced, 1/2

  • Sea Salt, Pinch

  • Dried Mushroom Powder, Pinch

  • Coriander, A Handful

  • Stew:

  • Red Onion Finely Sliced, 1/2

  • Garlic Finely Sliced, 3 Cloves

  • Bay Leaves, 4

  • Shahi Garam Masala, 1 TSP

  • Sea Salt, Pinch

  • Dried Mushroom Powder, Pinch

  • Spice Blend:

  • Cubeb, 1 TBSP

  • Cumin Seeds, 1 TBSP

  • Coriander Seeds, 1 TBSP

  • Kashmiri Chilies, 3 Adjust To Preference

  • Turmeric, 1 TBSP

  • Haleem:

  • Mustard Oil, 50g

  • Red Onion Finely Sliced, 1

  • Sea Salt, Pinch

  • Dried Mushroom Powder, Pinch

  • Chicken Thigh Boneless Skinless Diced, 600g

  • Ginger, 40g

  • Garlic, 3 Cloves

  • Shahi Garam Masala, 2 TSP

  • Green Chilies Deseeded, 2 Adjust To Preference

  • Garnishes:

  • Ghee, 1 TBSP

  • Ginger Julienned, A Small Handful

  • Green Chilies Deseeded, 2 Adjust To Preference

  • Coriander Finely Chopped, A Handful

  • Fresh Lime Juice, 1 Lime

  • Fresh Lime Zest, 1 Lime



  • Cast Iron Skillet / Pan

  • Mortar & Pestle

  • Spice Grinder

  • Blender

  • Big Pot



  1. Please visit my "How To Make Shahi Garam Masala" page for the recipe.

  2. Prepare the grains.

  3. Soak wheat and barley with water for 24 hours. Use just enough water to submerge.

  4. Soak dal and rice with water overnight. Use just enough water to submerge.

  5. The next day, prepare the stock.

  6. Add chicken bones, onion, salt, mushroom powder, coriander and 2 liters of water into a pot over medium-low heat.

  7. Stir until well combined. Bring it up to a simmer.

  8. Cover and cook for 1 hr or until the chicken releases its natural oil.

  9. Drain thru a sieve over a large bowl and discard all residue.

  10. This will be the base of the stew. Set aside.

  11. Prepare the stew.

  12. In a pot over medium-low heat, add 1 liter of the stock, soaked wheat, barley, onion, garlic, bay leaves, garam masala, salt and mushroom powder.

  13. Stir until well combined.

  14. Cover and cook for 2 hrs or until the stew is velvety and the wheat and barley can be mashed easily.

  15. *Stir occasionally to prevent burning. Add more stock if the stew starts to dry out, 1/4 cup at a time.*

  16. Once cooked, remove from heat and fish out the bay leaves.

  17. Transfer into a blender and blitz until velvety smooth.

  18. Set aside.

  19. *You can proceed with the following steps while waiting for the stew to be cooked.*

  20. Prepare the spice blend.

  21. Add cubeb, cumin, coriander and chilies into a skillet over medium heat.

  22. Toast until aromatic and transfer into a spice grinder.

  23. Blitz until powder forms.

  24. Add in turmeric and give it another blitz, set aside.

  25. Prepare the haleem.

  26. In a skillet over medium heat, add mustard oil

  27. Once the oil is heated up, add in the onion.

  28. *You can check the temperature of the oil by inserting a wooden chopstick, if bubbles start to form, the oil is ready.*

  29. Saute until the onion is golden brown.

  30. Remove from heat and pass thru a sieve over a bowl.

  31. Reserve the oil and set the onion aside.

  32. In the same skillet over medium heat, add half of the reserved oil.

  33. Massage salt and mushroom powder into the chicken until well coated.

  34. Once the oil is heated up, add in the chicken.

  35. Sear until the bottom is golden brown.

  36. Flip and continue cooking for 2 mins.

  37. Remove from heat and set aside on a plate to rest.

  38. Pound ginger and garlic into a paste with mortar and pestle.

  39. Deglaze the same skillet with the remaining reserved oil.

  40. Add in the spice blend.

  41. Stir vigorously to prevent burning.

  42. Add in the ginger-garlic paste.

  43. Stir to combine well.

  44. Add in the chicken and all its juice.

  45. Add in garam masala, salt, mushroom powder and saute until well combined.

  46. Add in half of the fried onion, green chilies and the soaked dal and rice.

  47. Saute until well combined.

  48. Transfer the mixture into a large pot.

  49. Deglaze the skillet with 1.5 liters of water and transfer it into the pot.

  50. Stir until well combined.

  51. Turn the heat up to low and bring it up to a simmer.

  52. Cover and cook for 20 mins or until the chicken starts to fall apart.

  53. Using the back of a spatula, break the chicken into finer pieces.

  54. Add in the wheat-barley mixture, 1 scoop at a time, stir until fully incorporated.

  55. You should have a velvety consistency.

  56. Taste and adjust for seasonings with salt and mushroom powder.

  57. Remove from heat and aside.

  58. Prepare the garnishes.

  59. In a skillet over medium heat, melt ghee.

  60. Add in ginger and green chilies.

  61. Once sizzled, remove from heat and transfer into the haleem.

  62. Add in some coriander, lime juice, zest and stir to combine well.

  63. Scoop onto serving plates and garnish with the remaining fried onion and some more coriander.

  64. Serve immediately.


Hearty, flavorful and yummilicious...

I love my spices...


Recipe Video:

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