Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Hyderabadi Chicken Haleem

Lentils and chicken are the star ingredients of this flavorful dish. I wouldn't say its the most authentic way of making haleem. But its as close as it can get in a Bengali home in sub-zero temperatures.

I realized the more haleem recipes (Pakistani as well as Indian), I watched, the more confused I became. So I stuck to whatever was readily available and reliable- my own memory!

Though the traditional way of cooking haleem is often done with beef or lamb, I used chicken in this recipe. Also the original recipe asks to soak the lentils (dal) overnight, I soaked them for a couple of hours ‘coz it was only late in the afternoon that I decided I wanted to make haleem for dinner.

The ingredients for Hyderabadi Chicken Haleem are:

500 grams chicken (boneless beef or lamb can also be substituted)
3 tablespoon broken wheat (soaked for at least 2 hours)
2 tablespoon moong dal (soaked for at least 2 hours)
2 tablespoon chana dal (soaked for at least 2 hours)
1 large onion finely chopped
2 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
4-5 green chilies finely chopped
2 tablespoon coriander leaves chopped
1 tablespoon mint leaves chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 black cardamom
1 inch cardamom stick
2 green cardamoms
1 bay leaf

IMG_5782In separate saucepans, boil until mushy the broken wheat and the chana-moong dal combination. Make sure you have enough water for the lentils to cook without burning. Drain enough the excess liquid. But keep some to cook later with the chicken.
IMG_5783 IMG_5787In a thick bottom pan, heat 3 tablespoon ghee, add the cardamoms, bay leaf, cumin, cinnamon and temper for a minute. Then add the thinly sliced onions and dry till they are pink-brown in color.
IMG_5784 IMG_5788 Add the ginger-garlic paste and fry for a couple of minutes. Then add the salt, chili powder and turmeric powder. Let all the spices mix well.
IMG_5789 IMG_5790Add the chicken pieces and mix all the spices and the onions well. Cook covered for at least 15 minutes on low heat.
IMG_5793 Do not add any water. The chicken and the onions have enough water which get released due to the slow cooking and salt.
IMG_5795 Add the boiled lentils and broken wheat to the chicken. IMG_5796Mix well. Now add the chopped chilies, coriander and mint.
IMG_5798 Squeeze the juice of one lemon. You can even sprinkle some crisply fried onions on the chicken haleem before you serve. The haleem needs to be eaten immediately while the tang and spice are just fresh!

It’s warming and perfect for the cold weather. A simple but delicious meal in itself, but I served it with some hot spinach parathas.

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