City-based chef flips through her cookbook, presents Haleem 

Samira Ruheen picks fresh lamb meat and tosses it with black peppercorns and garam masala for this South Asian delicacy

Chokita Paul Published :  27th January 2023 12:00 AM   |   Published :   |  27th January 2023 12:00 AM
Chef Ruheen

Chef Ruheen

Specialising in Nizami cuisine, city-based culinarian, Samira Ruheen (Chef Ruheen), started as an aesthete and hobbyist as early as a 10-year-old. Soon, her culinary expedition became a lifestyle. Ruheen has been cooking for private orders in Jubilee Hills for almost five years now. Following her grandmother’s recipes and picking up from her succulent artistry, the chef has also hosted Nizami food festivals across Delhi, Gurgaon, and Gwalior. She shares with us one of her Haleem recipes in four easy steps so you can keep winters at bay. Packed with nostalgia and care, the delectable wraps you in profound comfort.

Make ahead:

●        Take 4-5 thinly sliced onions.

●        Deep fry them into a crisp golden brown colour.

●        Take 200 gms of cashews, and fry them until they turn golden brown. You can do this a day before.

●        Coming to the main recipe of haleem, always choose fresh lamb meat, a good haleem is always a result of good quality meat.

Step 1:

For cooking mutton

●        750 gms boneless mutton/meat cleaned and washed well

●        5 tbsp oil

●        8 green chillies

●        Small bunch of mint

●        Small bunch of coriander

●        2 tbsp ginger garlic paste

●        2 tsp turmeric powder

●        3-4 small cinnamon sticks

●        4 cloves

●        2-3 green cardamoms

●        1 teaspoon caraway seeds

●        1 tablespoon black peppercorns

●        Salt – to taste

●        2 cups water


In a pressure cooker, heat oil, and add garam masala. Then add ginger and garlic paste. Fry till the paste starts to give its aroma, then add mint leaves, coriander and green chillies. Add water and close the lid. Let it whistle five to six times. Check if the meat is tenderised; if not, repeat a couple of more whistles.


Step 2:

For cooking daal

●        ½ cup daliya

●        ⅓ cup mash ki daal

●        ⅓ cup toor daal

●        ⅓ cup chana daal

●        Salt – to taste

●        3 cups water


●        In an open pan, mix all daals, and put some salt and water. Keep stirring, and let it cook till daal gets tenderised.

Step 3:

●        Grind the daals and keep them aside.

●        Mash the mutton pieces and keep them aside. Keep the mutton stock for step 4.

 Step 4:

●        4 tbsp oil

●        4 medium size onions finely sliced

●        ⅓ cup almonds paste

●        ⅓ cup cashew paste

●        2 tbsp ginger garlic paste

●        4 green chillies

●        2 tsp black pepper powder

●        1 tsp turmeric powder

●        1 ½ cups beaten yoghurt 200 ml approx

●        5-6 tbsp pure ghee

●        Freshly chopped coriander leaves

●        Freshly chopped mint leaves

●        4 lemons juice


●        In a cooking pot, add oil, add four medium size sliced onions and fry until golden brown.

●        Add ginger garlic paste and sauté well.

●        Add fresh coriander leaves, mint leaves, and green chillies, and mix well.

●        Add black peppercorn powder, and turmeric powder and mix well.

●        Add cashew and almond pastes. Mix well and let it cook for 8-10 minutes, keep stirring.

●        Add beaten yoghurt, mix and cook for six to seven minutes.

●        Add the blended paste of daals and also mutton into it.

●        Mix it well and keep stirring, until the mutton and daals get mixed.

●        Add the mutton stock and mix well.

●        Add pure ghee all over and mix.

●        Add lemon juice.

●        Cover the lid and cook it for about 30 minutes on low flame.

●        Remove the lid and give a mix.

●        Keep cooking, stirring nonstop for an hour or more. Haleem must be paste-like, check the taste, and add black pepper salt and lemon juice as per your taste.

●        Garnish the haleem with a spoonful of desi ghee, some fried cashews, and fried onions and side with lemon and mint/coriander leaves.

●        Serve it immediately or heat the haleem before serving. To be consumed hot.


Twitter: @PaulChokita