This is an ultimate slow-cooking wonder; full of gentle spices and warm comfort, also known as the “King of Curries”. Haleem gets its lovely sticky consistency from constant stirring, so give yourself up to the hypnotic cooking and enjoy the aromas as you do.
Channa dhal, urid dhal, moong dhal and barley-½ cup each
Wheat-½ cup
Beef or lamb on the bone, meat cut into chunks-1 kg
Crushed garlic-2 tablespoons
Grated ginger-2 tablespoons
Water- 2.5 litres
Clarified butter (ghee) - 2 tablespoons
Saffron colour (optional) - pinch
Ground fenugreek- ¼ teaspoon
Ground coriander-1 tablespoon
Ground cumin-1 tablespoon
Chaat masala spice mix-1 tablespoon
Chilli powder-1 tablespoon
Turmeric - 1 teaspoon
Vegetable oil-125 ml
Onions, sliced-2
Garam masala-1 tablespoon

Chaat masala spice mix
Julienned ginger
Coriander leaves
Sliced lemon

  • Soak the dhal and barley together overnight. Partly crush the wheat berries in a mortar and pestle and soak for 1½ hours.
  • Put the lentils and grains, meat and bones, garlic, ginger and water in a large, heavy-based pot and bring to the boil. Simmer for around 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove the bones and continue to cook until the meat starts to fall apart (about another hour).
  • Add the ghee, saffron colour, fenugreek, coriander, cumin, chaat masala, chilli powder, turmeric and salt and cook for another 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 caramelized. Add the onion (reserving ¼ cup) and garam masala to the stew. Cook for a further 15 minutes.
  • Scoop onto plates and garnish with chaat masala, ginger, coriander and lemon. Serve with roti, naan or chapattis.