Hyderabadi Haleem-A Global Ambassador of the City of Nizams, Hyderabad

Hyderabadi Haleem-A Global Ambassador of the City of Nizams, Hyderabad


If you haven’t tasted Hyderabadi Haleem till now, you haven’t lived yet. Although its origins can be traced back to Yemen in the Arabian Peninsula, it is as much a signature dish of Hyderabad now, as is the Biryani. This amazing non vegetarian delicacy from Hyderabadi cuisine, with a Geographical Indication (GI) Status from the government of India to boot, enjoys worldwide recognition.

The Nizams of the erstwhile Hyderabad state were great connoisseurs of food and used to specially hire pricey cooks from far flung places to whip up some rare and spicy non vegetarian delicacies for them. That is how Haleem found its way to Hyderabad from the Arab region.

The holy month of Ramadan in Hyderabad, cannot be imagined without a plate of haleem to break our fast. Come Ramadan and you see bhattis, used to prepare Haleem, spring up in front of most hotels.

And don’t go thinking it’s only popular among Muslims. Non-Muslims too are equally hooked to this flavorful delicacy. I remember an incident from my university days, when a few of my non-Muslim friends from other parts of the country, eagerly asked me about when Ramadan would be starting that year. I was a bit surprised by their enquiry until I got to know the real reason. Apparently our seniors had told them about this amazing dish called Haleem which is widely available only during Ramadan. Hence the curiosity. Once, they tasted it, they were completely hooked. I’ve also heard about quite a few Hindu households in Hyderabad where they don’t cook dinner during the entire month of Ramadan. Who wants to eat anything else when Haleem is readily available in every nook and corner of the city? Haleem is so rich that it will send your diets out of the window, but I don’t think any Hyderabadi can resist the temptation at least during Ramadan. Besides, it also has its health benefits too.

You’ll find a hundred different recipes on the internet all claiming to be the most authentic recipe for Hyderabadi Haleem. I think any recipe which gives you an excellent result to your liking will do.  Following is my take on the recipe. Hope you enjoy the making and devouring of this dish.


Ingredients Quantity
Mutton bone-in 1 kg
Cracked wheat  (gehun) 3 cups
Ginger-Garlic (Adrak-Laisan) paste 4 teaspoon
Maash, moong and chana daals mixed 1 cup
Red Chilli powder 1 teaspoon
Light Golden color Crisp fried onions 1 cup
Cashew nuts  (Kaju) 1/2 cup
Garam Masala powder 1 teaspoon
Black Pepper corns   (Kali Mirchi) 1/2 teaspoon
Cinnamon   (Daalchini) 1″ stick
Cloves (Laung) 2-3
Cardamom  (Elaichi) 2-3
Ghee 1/2 cup
Fresh coriander leaves,(Kotmeer) 1 cup
Fresh mint   (Podina) 1/4 cup
Green Chilies (Hari Mirchi) 5-6
Salt to taste
Oil as per taste


Soak the cracked wheat for at least 1/2 an hour after washing it. Trim off any excess fat from the mutton and then wash and clean thoroughly. Then add 1tablespoon of Ginger-Garlic paste, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, Red chili powder, 1/2 tsp Garam masala powder to the mutton and mix well. Put the mutton in the pressure cooker and cook on high for 8-10 minutes and then simmer on low flame for another 15-20 minutes. After it cools down, shred the meat and keep aside. In another large heavy-bottomed pan, boil the cracked wheat along with the dals, 1tablespoon ginger-garlic paste, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper corns 2-3 green chilies, in 8-10 cups of water until it is cooked completely and the water is almost absorbed by the wheat.  Use a Ghotni (wooden masher) or wooden spoon to mash the wheat. Alternately, you can also put half the wheat in a blender and pulse for a few seconds. Remove and keep aside.  Next, heat a little ghee or oil in another pot and add the whole spices, the shredded meat, remaining green chilies, 1/2 cup fresh coriander and sauté for 10- 15 minutes or until oil starts to float on top.  Now, add 3 cups of water and bring it to a boil. Put in the cooked Wheat and mix well, adding a little bit of Ghee at a time. Adjust salt to taste. Let the haleem simmer for at least 1/2 an hour stirring all the while to keep it from sticking to the sides. Finally garnish with fried onions, cashew nuts a wedge of lemon and fresh Coriander. Serve hot to collect all the wah wahs and compliments.


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