Haleem is a tasty creamy beef and lentil stew that you will love. This dish is Arabian in origin. Traditionally made with beef, barley, wheat and lentils. Beef shank is a good choice to use for this recipe as it also includes marrow bone. Marrow bone adds extra taste and flavor to the dish.
Step 1: Ingredients List
1. Haleem spice packet, Urad dal, Masoor dal, Mung dal, Chana dal,and Basmati rice are available at the ethnic South Asian grocery markets.
2. All the dals (lentils) including the rice and the oats are 1\3 cup while the chana dal is 1 cup. Barley and\or cracked wheat is also used for this dish but I used the ingredients at hand. If you were to include barley or wheat the measurement would be 1 cup. Additionally you would pressure cook the wheat or barley with the meat and chana dal.
3. Two packets of beef shanks with the marrow bone.
4. Two medium onions or one large onion.
5. Five cloves of garlic.
6. About a half a thumb size of ginger.
7. Three tablespoons of vegetable oil
8. A pot full of boiling water to add to pressure cooker and also for cooking lentils.
This recipe is a quick recipe as it requires the use of a pressure cooker. It takes about 1.5 hours to complete. Traditionally this dish required about 3 hours or more.
Step 2: Prepare the Onions, Garlic and Ginger.
Slice the onions and add to the pressure cooker along with 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Keep the flame at low/medium. Stir frequently and let the onions fry till golden brown.
While the onions are frying take the ginger and five cloves of garlic and puree them in a mini blender. (Add some water to the blender container to help with the pureeing).
Step 3: Wash and Prep the Chana Dal.
Pour the Chana dal into a bowl and rinse with warm water. You will have to rinse a couple of times until the water runs clear.
Step 4: Remove the Fried Onions and Prep the Beef Shanks.
Keep an eye on the onions by stirring the pot frequently. When the onions are golden brown remove them with a slotted spoon. At this point turn off the flame underneath the pot.
The beef shanks need to be cut into smaller pieces so that they will be more manageable in the pot. Cut and wash them in the sink. Drain as best as you can. Pat dry to suck up extra water.
In order to prevent cross contamination have a helper bring over the pressure cooker so you can place the shanks into the pot. Have the helper restart the flame on medium under the pot. Meanwhile you can wash and decontaminate the sink.
Step 5: Adding the Spice Packet, Chana Dal and Hot Water.
Very important! Use only half of the Haleem spice packet. The full packet is too much. Add the washed Chana dal and the hot water so that is covers the meat. Stir the pot to mix ingredients. Let the pressure cooker come up to a boil. Let it simmer a few minutes before putting the lid on and pressurizing. Low/medium flame is what we want to cook at. Approximately 45 minutes is the pressure cooking time.
Step 6: Other Lentils and Rice.
In the mixing bowl add 1/3 cup of rice, masoor dal, urad dal, and mung dal. Wash and rinse these a couple of times so that the water runs clear. Add these to cooking pot and cook on low/medium for about 40 minutes. The water level is approximately double the level of the dals. Keep the lid offset a little on the pot so the foam doesn't run outside of the pot. These softer lentils and rice are cooking at the same time as the beef shanks and the Chana dal in the pressure cooker.
Step 7: Depressurize the Cooker and Separate the Meat.
I like to use a an upside down ceramic bowl to rest the pressure cooker on for releasing its pressure. A stream of warm water for about 30 seconds on the lid of the cooker depressurizes the cooker. Put cooker back on stove and open lid. Remove the meat and bones with a slotted spoon. Use two forks to separate and shred the meat fiber. If there is any marrow stuck in the bones extract it. Mostly the marrow will be in the broth. Separate the bones and other unwanted tissue and discard. Put aside the shredded meat.
Step 8: Time to Blend.
Blend the Chana dal, Urad dal, Masoor dal, Rice and Mung dal in the blender. Put the blended pureed dals back into the pressure cooker pot. Also add the shredded meat into the pot. Keep the flame at low/medium. Add the fried onions. Blend the 1/3 cup of oats in a spice grinder and add to the pot. Keep stirring the pot. The instant cook oats require frequent stirring so that they don't clump.
Step 9: Continue Stirring for a Bit.
Continue frequent stirring for about 15 more minutes. Everything should be nicely mixed. Change the stirring spoon to the serving spoon.
Pour some into a bowl and plant some mint sprigs in the bowl for a garnish.
What does it taste like? Tastes of a bit of spices and creamy lentils with meat fiber adding to the texture. A spicy goodness that fills you up. This can be eaten with roti,naan, french bread or a soup spoon.