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Making Haleem: Muharram’s signature dish

A delicious mixture of wheat, barley, lentil, and meat ‘Haleem’ is garnished with chopped green chilies, ginger, fried onions and slivers of lemon before being served.

Haleem is a preferred choice of food in Muharram. Indeed, it is an occasional dish but its demand increases especially on the 9th and 10th of Muharram. It’s cooked on woods in a ‘degh’.

Preparing a ‘degh’ of Haleem requires 5 kg of wheat and chana dal with different spices such as one-quarter of Haldi, moong dal, masoor dal, and mash dal, red chili powder, and salt. The best version of haleem comes out when it’s cooked in the beef. At least 10 kg of boneless beef is blended with all the mouth-watering spices in a degh. 

10-kg meat blended with spices can result in a 50-kg haleem if cooked for at least 8 hours. Making a tasty dish is not easy and requires time and patience. The pulses, wheat, and meat are boiled separately and they mixed and cooked together for a few hours till it becomes a thick paste.

The thick paste is blended into more spices and becomes a qorma, which is poured into the cooking grains. The mixture is thoroughly mixed on low to medium flame with constant stirring.

The half-cooked haleem is continuously cooked and stirred until the correct consistency and of course its overall taste in terms of salt and chili content. The secret recipe for the tasty haleem is it must be well blended.

After a lot of blending the dish on low flames, haleem gets the tarka of hot flaming onions fried in oil. Finally, it is garnished with chopped ginger, sliced green chilies, coriander leaves, lemon wedges, and chaat masala. 

 

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