A savory porridge of pounded wheat, meat and lentils the best word to describe this Mazedar Beef Haleem is "satisfying".
The History Of Mazedar Beef Haleem
Mazedar Beef Haleem is a one pot slow cooked wonders, like nihari, that Pakistani Cuisine is famous for. This treasure has a rich and varied history dating back to ancient Persia.
The original Arabic version, called Harees, first made its debut in the Indian Subcontinent during the time of Humayun's reign.
Humayun and Harees
According to an article in bawarchi.com, Humayun was first introduced to this hearty meal during his exile in Persia. The dish later became his favorite post morning prayer meal and eventually gained rank and became part of the "Mughal Meal" under his rule.
The Nizams and Haleem
This porridge then made a resurgence during the rule of the the Nizams in the early 19th century. The Chaush, a warrior clan from Yemen, came to act as bodyguards for the Nizam rulers. Haleem was a favored meal with them due to its nutritional value.
By the time of the 7th Nizam the dish had gained more widespread popularity in the State of Hyderabad and the recipe and name evolved to what we know today as Haleem.
Ramadan and Haleem
High in Calories and comprised of slow digesting ingredients, it is a favorite meal to open the fast with during the month of Ramadan in Hyderabad and much of the Muslim world. The best part about Haleem for me is that it truly gets better each time you reheat and eat it, making it a great thing to
Cooking Method of Mazedar Beef Haleem
The Stew is traditionally cooked in a Cauldron on a "Bhatti" (a mud and brick Kiln) that is stoked with firewood over a 12 hour period , while constantly being stirred with a "ghotni" (a wooden hand masher) resulting in a sticky and smooth consistency.
Of course, in modern times, with the evolution of pressure cookers, instant pots, slow cookers and food processors we now cook it over a much shorter period of time (You can now breathe a sigh of relief, I'm not giving you a recipe you need to take a day off work to cook).
However, that being said, if you ever have the opportunity to try the slow cooked authentic version you won't regret it and will understand what all the hype is about.
I usually like to cook my Haleem in one large pot over a simmering stove. for an extended period of time. Although I have tried cooking it in a slow cooker and more recently the much raved about Instant Pot I will honestly say that I prefer my stovetop method hands down. Those are the directions given below in the recipe.
However, I sometimes resort to using one shortcut which I'll share with you here:
Pressure Cooking The Meat
I saute the garlic and pressure cook the meat with the spices in my Instant Pot for about 20 minutes, with a 20 minute release time
Cooking The Lentils
While the meat is in the pressure cooker I start cooking the lentils. By the time the meat is done the lentils have expanded and started becoming thicker and gelatinous.
Grinding The Meat and Lentils
The meat is so tender by this point that just 2 pulses of the processor sufficiently grinds it. Next I add 2-4 cups of the lentils and grind them to a paste. This helps release the stickiness so the next stage progresses quicker.
Some people grind their Haleem completely so it has an almost paste like consistency but I like to see and taste the strands of meat and some of the pulses. In my opinion the ground lentils helps bind everything together and create a perfect texture.
Continue Slow Cooking The Stew
By now I've managed to reduce the cooking time of my first stage from two hours to an hour . I continue to cook the mixture, stirring at short intervals to prevent it from sticking. This constant stirring also helps bind the meat, pulses and starches so you get a perfectly balanced mixture.
Many people saute the onions much earlier in the cooking process but I always add them at the end just like in my nihari recipe. Cooking with the onions at the end gives a beautiful color and finish to the entree. I do cook with them for about half an hour so they can blend in with the curry, providing the necessary flavor.
The Haleem is done at this point as it continues to thicken for a good hour after the stove is turned off . Keep that in mind when aiming for the desired consistency, but by all means thicken it more if that's what you prefer.
Garnish And Enjoy
I like to garnish the Haleem with a little more of the crispy fried onions on top. The remaining garnishes are served on the side and added based on individual preferences. Enjoy the Haleem with hot Naan or as we often do in my house, on its own!
Mazedar Beef Haleem
- large pot
- Cooking Spoon
- Chopping Board
- Food Processor
- Frying Pan
Spice Blend (For 2 Pounds of Meat)
- 10 whole dry red chillies
- 1 tbsp whole coriander seeds
- 1 tbsp whole white cumin seeds
- 2 pods black cardamom
- 4 pods green cardamom
- 5 cloves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 whole nutmeg
- 4 mace flowers
- 3 tbsp salt
- 3 tbsp red chili powder
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tbsp white pepper powder
Lentil Mix (For 2 Pounds of Meat)
- 1 ½ cups haleem wheat (pounded wheat)
- ½ cup chana daal (bengal gram)
- ¼ cup split urad daal (maash daal)
- ¼ cup masoor daal (red lentils)
- ¼ cup moong daal (yellow lentils)
- ¼ cup pearl barley
- 2 lbs beef cubes
- 1 cup cooking oil
- 2 tbsp garlic paste
- prepped spice blend
- lentil mix
- 12 cups water
- 1 onion
- 4 green chilies
- 1 inch ginger
- 2 lemons
- ½ cup cilantro
- ½ crispy fried onion (optional)
- chaat masala powder (optional)
- dry roast all the whole spices in a preheated frying pan for 2-3 minutes
- grind them all to a fine powder in a spice grinder
- mix with the other powdered spices
- use immediately or store in an airtight container
- measure all the lentils into a large bowl
- rinse thoroughly and soak overnight in 9 cups of water (12 hours)
- Heat the cooking oil
- saute the garlic paste for 2 minutes
- add the beef and saute till light brown
- rinse and drain the lentils and add them to the meat along with the spice blend and 12 cups of water and bring to a boil
- lower the heat to medium and slow cook for 2 hours till the meat is tender (SEE NOTE)
- after 2 hours remove the meat along with 2 cups of the lentils and grind in a food processor (SEE NOTE)
- add back to the lentils in the pot and continue cooking for 2 hours, stirring every 15 minutes as to prevent it sticking to the bottom of the pot (SEE NOTE)
- after 2 hours thinly slice and fry the onion to a dark brown and temper the haleem with the onion and oil
- continue cooking for 20-30 minutes
- finely chop the cilantro and green chilies
- thinly slice the ginger
- quarter the lemon
- serve the hot haleem with the garnishing and naan
- After about one hour the lentils will expand and the mixture will become a little sticky and gelatinous. At this point you need to stir the pot at 15 minute intervals to scrape the bottom. If you feel the mixture is too thick then add a little more water but boil it first. Adding room temperature water will stop the cooking process and it will take you longer to get the desired results.
- A few pulses of the food processor are enough. You want to break down the meat but not completely grind it.
- Once you add the meat and lentils back to the pot and continue cooking you will possibly need to adjust the salt and chilies. Since the lentils expand so much and you need to keep adding more water the balance of the spices is often thrown off and needs to be adjusted.