Haleem Recipe | Delicious Hyderabadi Haleem

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Haleem or Daleem is a medley of lentils (Daal) with a subtle consistency, satisfying taste, delicious aroma, and high nutritional value. Hyderabadi or Pakistani Haleem is a substantial meal like Nihari that is served with Roti or Chapati. 

haleem recipe

In Pakistan, India, and other subcontinents, Haleem retains a distinctive spot in traditional heritage. This culinary ingredient is so unique and flavorsome that I always craft it once a month. For me, there is no substitute for Haleem on the planet.  

I’ve seen people using modern ways like one-pot (Instant Pot) to prepare this traditional delicacy, but this is a mistreatment of the traditions. Unlike a dump-and-go recipe, haleem demands your full care, time, pots, and some extra ingredients. 

After making this recipe so many times, I have encountered a few extra steps that make this dish more appetizing and unique. So stick to the recipe to get the most out of it. 

Why You Will Like This Haleem Recipe?

  • Comforting Porridge Curry: The blend of various lentils makes this recipe nourishing and soul-soothing porridge-like curry. You even elevate the flavor by garnishing it with golden onions. 
  • Gentle On Stomach: Haleem is a very gentle on the stomach and easy-to-digest dish. We use ground lentils (daals) that make the curry much more luscious and thick. Also, cooking it on the stovetop for longer makes the curry soft and thick.
  • High Nutritious Value: The Haleem recipe uses lentils (Daals), which are a high source of protein and fiber. Its high nutritional value makes it a complete meal, and you don’t need to pair extra appetizers with it.

More About Haleem And Its Taste?

pakistani haleem

Haleem is an ancient Arab culinary and one of the beloved selections of Caliphs and kings of Arabs. The Haleem resembles Harees, an old recipe mentioned in the 10th-century cookbook “Kitab Al-Tabikh” by Sayyar al-Warraq. 

In the 17th century, during the Mughals era, the Haleem gained widespread acclaim and fame. After that, this recipe is mostly served during Ramadan in Hyderabad and other Indian cities. The porridge stew of this recipe feels soothing on the stomach after Iftar. 

Unlike the chicken korma or chicken salan, the haleem has a thick consistency, which makes it a more appetizing recipe.

Nonetheless, when it comes to the taste of Haleem, I can bet it will always satisfy your taste buds. Its balance, umami, and nuanced flavor make it a plateable recipe. 



Lentils: Today’s recipe is all based on lentils (Daal). And I’m using the following deals. 

  • Short Grain Rice: I use short grain rice beside lentils to make the gravy slurries. 
  • Chicken: In Haleem, we always use any halal meat to make the recipe more overpowering. I chose the boneless chicken because it melts too quickly and easily blends with lentils. 
  • Onions: You also need some onions, which we will use for garnishing. I will also sauté a small amount of onions with lentils to give my recipe a more savory taste. 
  • Tomatoes: This ingredient will elevate the hues of Haleem. You must use the chopped version of tomatoes. 
  • Garlic Ginger Paste: I will blend garlic ginger paste in the curry for a more pungent and robust taste. 
  • Ground Spices: If you hate spices or you’re out of spices, Haleem is not your thing. This recipe requires additional spices. For ground spices, I’m using Paprika powder, red chili powder, turmeric powder, and homemade Haleem masala.

How To Prepare Homemade Haleem Spice?

homemade haleem spice

My mom always prefers homemade spice over store-bought. This time, we again prepared a special masala for our Hyderabadi style Haleem. Here are the ingredients for this masala. 

  • 1/2 tbsp Dry coriander
  • 1/3 tbsp Cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tbsp Black pepper powder
  • 1/8 tbsp Nigella Seeds (Kalonji)
  • 1/8 tbsp Carom Seeds (ajwain)
  • 1 Cinnamon

Put all these spices in a food process to make a powder. 

Let’s Prepare Our Recipe 

  1. Soak The Lentils: First, let’s prepare the lentils (Daal). I soaked the lentils for 30 minutes in a mixing bowl, and I also added short-grain rice in the same bowl. 
  1. Pressure Cook Lentils: Heat a pressure cooker and add all the lentils (Dal/Legume) along with 4 glasses of water. Pressure cook for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, add the chicken to the mixture and cook for 10 more minutes.  
pressure cook lentis

Preparing Gravy: 

  1. Saute Onions: Now add oil to a frying pan; sauté the onion for a few minutes on high heat. I prefer medium slices for the onions (as shown in the image below). Once the onions turn golden, transfer a small portion to another plate; we’ll use it later for garnishing.
saute onions
  1. Adding Chicken: Add the boiled chicken to the pan and fry it for a minute. Then add garlic, ginger paste, and tomatoes and give it a gentle stir. Close the lid for one more minute to decompose the tomatoes. 
adding chicken
adding tomatoes
  1. Blend All Spices: To infuse the flavors, add all the ground spices along with a splash of water. Stir and simmer for 2 minutes. At this point, turn off the stove and drain all the oil from the pan.  
bloom spices
adding oil
  1. Grind All The Stuff: Transfer the Gravy from the pan to a juicer jug. Don’t worry about the chicken pieces; the food process turns them into shredded pieces. 
adding in juicer
  1. Grind The Daals: Add lentils (Daals) to a food processor. You can also use an immersion blender to blend all the ingredients in a mixing bowl. If you have a powerful food processor, don’t hesitate to blend Gravy and lentils togather. 
  1. Simmer All The Mixture: Now, again, heat the pan and add the blended mixture. At this stage, you need to gently stir the stew for 3 minutes on a medium flame.  
Simmer All The Mixture
  1. Make Haleem Tangy: Once Haleem starts bubbling, include 3 – 4 Dandicuts (dry red chilies) and some green chilies. Turn the flame to the lowest and simmer it for 4 more minutes to achieve a subtle consistency. 
adding green chilies
round red chilies
  1. Garnishing: I had already saved some oil from step 5, and I will use is here in the final step. Drizzle that oil on the top of Haleem. Finally, garnish it with remaining golden onions, squeeze some lemons, sprinkle cilantro and green chilies.  

Nabeela Pro Tip

  • I prefer oil instead of ghee for this recipe. The oil helps balance the viscosity and consistency of the Haleem. 
  • Haleem tastes more umami and balanced, but to make it a little tangy, add Dandicuts (round red chilies) and green chilies. Mmm! Squeezing fresh lemon juice over the Haleem gives it a satisfying and savory taste. 
  • Incorporate rolled oats or two tablespoons of barley porridge into the recipe for a richer wheaty and umami essence. You can also use daal masoor for more creamy taste. Grind this ingredient together with the lentils for the best results.
  • Do you love a spicy, oily layer over the plate of Haleem like those in restaurants? Yeah, I know everyone desires that plate. To achieve this, just drizzle the pickle oil over it.
  • If you don’t have pickle oil but still want to give it a zesty touch, the Dandicuts and green chili can help you. Simply heat a small amount of oil in a pan, add these ingredients, and then drizzle the infused oil over the Haleem.


Traditionally, Haleem is a mixture of shredded beef and lentils (Daals), but you can also use boneless chicken to save time and effort. Also, chicken pieces become more juicer in the recipe than lamp or mutton meat. But based on your preferences you can also make beef Haleem. 

Yes, Haleem is freezer-friendly; you can refrigerate it for a week. Upon use, just reheat it on a medium flame until it starts bubbling. I prefer to add a splash of oil during the reheating process. 

To double this recipe, simply double all the ingredients except the paprika chili. I prefer to amp up its amount by 1/3. You know, Paprika chili (Kashmiri Mirch) is one of the most zesty and fiery spices on the planet. 

Use chicken meat to speed up the recipe and save cooking time. Also, avoid using split Chana Dal (split chickpeas) because it takes an extra 5 minutes to decompose. Apart from that, there is no shortcut to crafting this classical recipe. 

What To Serve With Haleem?

In Pakistan, people love to savor Haleem with naan. However, during my last tour in the UK, I discovered that many people prefer to enjoy this delight with spoons. Yes, you heard it right! My aunt always laughs at me because I eat Haleem with naans.

Haleem is a full-fledged meal; you don’t need any other appetizers or side dishes to serve with it. However, if you can’t resist tangy flavors, whip up some mint chutney for an extra spicy touch.

haleem recipe

Haleem Recipe

Haleem or Daleem is a medley of lentils (Daal) with a subtle consistency, satisfying taste, delicious aroma, and high nutritional value. Hyderabadi or Pakistani Haleem is a substantial meal like Nihari that is served with Roti or Chapati. 
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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian, Pakistani
Servings 6


Lentils (Daal)

  • 1 Cup Urad Dal (Mash)
  • 1 Cup Split Chickpeas (Dal Chana)
  • 1 Cup Moong Daal (Yellow Lentils)
  • ½ Cup Split Green Moong Daal 
  • ½ Cup Rice


  • ½ tsp Paprika powder
  • 1 tsp Chili powder
  • 1 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp Salt (Adjustable)

Nihari Masala:

  • ½ tsp Dry coriander
  • tsp Cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp Black pepper powder
  • tsp Nigella Seeds (Kalonji)
  • tsp Carom Seeds (ajwain)
  • 1 Cinnamon

For Tadka 

  • 2 Onion
  • 1 Cup Cooking Oil
  • Tomato
  • 300 garams Chicken (Boneless) 


  • 3 Green Chilies 
  • 3 Dandicuts (Round Red Chilies)
  • 2 tsp Gold onions (fried onions)
  • 2 Lemons
  • Cilantro


  • Soak all the lentils in a mixing bowl for 30 minutes. I have also soaked the rice in the same bowl. 
  • Combine lentils and rice with 4 glasses of water in a pressure cooker. Pressure cook for 5 minutes on a medium flame. After 5 minutes, add chicken and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
  • Heat a pan, add oil, and sauté medium-sliced onions until golden. Extract a small amount of oil from a pan for later use.
  • Add boiled chicken to the pan and fry briefly. Introduce garlic-ginger paste and tomatoes and stir gently. Cover for a minute to soften the tomatoes.
  • Next, add all the ground spices with a splash of water and simmer for 2 minutes. Exclude excess oil from the Gravy because we are going to transfer it to a food processor in the next step. 
  • Transfer the Gravy to a blender along with the chicken and blend all the stuff.  
  • Now, it's time to blend lentils. You can use an immersion blender for this purpose, but if you don't have this device, just simply opt for a food processor. 
  • Reheat the pan, add the blended mixture (Lentils + Gravy), and stir gently for 3 minutes on medium flame. Then, add the oil that I drained out earlier. 
  • Once bubbling, add 3-4 Dandicuts and green chilies. Simmer on low heat for an additional 4 minutes.
  • Now it's time to garnish. Use the reserved oil for topping. Garnish with golden onions, squeeze lemon juice, and sprinkle the cilantro and green chilies.



Note: If you don’t want to pressure cook lentils or chicken, just slow cook all the ingredients for 2 – 2.5 hours to get the fluffy and consistent gravy. 
Keyword Haleem, Hyderabadi Haleem, Pakistani Haleem
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