This recipe for haleem with beef and lentils, is the ultimate slow-cooked wonder. It's full of gentle spices and warm comfort, and a Pakistani favourite. Haleem gets its lovely sticky consistency from constant stirring, so give yourself up to the hypnotic cooking and enjoy the aromas as you do.
- ½ cup each chana dal, urid dal, mung dal and barley
- ½ cup wheat berries
- 1 kg beef or lamb on the bone, meat cut into chunks
- 2 tbsp crushed garlic
- 2 tbsp grated ginger
- 2½ litres water
- 2 tbsp clarified butter (ghee)
- 1 pinch saffron colour (optional)
- ¼ tsp ground fenugreek
- 1 tbsp ground coriander
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp chaat masala spice mix
- 1 tbsp chilli powder
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 125 ml (½ cup) vegetable oil
- 2 onions, sliced
- 1 tbsp garam masala
- chaat masala spice mix
- finely sliced green chilli
- julienned ginger
- coriander leaves
- sliced lemon
- roti, naan or chapattis
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Soaking time overnight
You will need to begin this recipe 1 day ahead.
Soak the dal and barley together overnight. Partly crush the wheat berries in a mortar and pestle and soak for 1½ hours.
Drain the lentils and grains, place in a large heavy-based saucepan with meat and bones, garlic, ginger and water and bring to the boil. Simmer for around 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Remove the bones and continue to cook for about 1 hour or until the meat starts to fall apart.
Add the ghee, saffron colour, fenugreek, coriander, cumin, chaat masala, chilli powder, turmeric and salt and cook for another 1 hour, stirring regularly to help the ingredients break down and blend into each other. The stew will start to look very thick and sticky.
Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan and fry the onion until brown and caramelised. Add the onion (reserving ¼ cup) and garam masala to the stew. Cook for a further 15 minutes.
Scoop onto plates and garnish with the remaining fried onions, chaat masala, chilli, ginger, coriander and lemon. Serve with roti, naan or chapattis.
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