We have a special Iftari Haleem recipe here on Slurrpy today but I have a heavy heart. This is the Holy month of Ramadan, but people don’t seem to care much about it in Israel and Palestine. While young children are picking up bread and eating in Syria and Gaza, we don’t seem to mind celebrating IIFA awards. Sometimes I wonder, where is the world heading. I recently came upon this website which is doing beautiful work in donating food to poverty-stricken children in Gaza and I am just back from donating $10 CAD. I wish I could feed them at Iftar. I wish they were all running around in new clothes at the food stalls that lace every footpath during Ramadan and Eid. I wish they never had to see what they are seeing now and which will scar them for life. But my wish is too insignificant in front of the cherished hatred that people have carefully garnered for over years, for each other. Today many children eat fallen breadcrumbs for Iftar and see gun-shots for fairy lights. My heart crumbles and breaks into a thousand pieces as I write this and cook this. I am a Hindu. But before that, I’m a human being.
Many many years ago, a Muslim family hid my grandmother’s family. I owe it to every Muslim as a Hindu, to save their life or do the least when their life is in danger. Guess what? I’ll do it for a Jew, a Christian, a Parsi and any religion that ever exists. Because our religion is our path to God, it doesn’t have anything to do with guns. In fact, I know so many educated people who have asked me why do I have Jesus Christ at the shrine I have in my house. I have refused to never answer. Simply because they asked.
My father and I used to visit a mosque every Eid near our home to eat Iftari. He insisted that I went and checked out the food and the pomp and show. The recent happenings over the world takes me to those days where vile thoughts didn’t exist. We once took mom to eat and replicate this Haleem recipe and she did. This is from her cookbook. With much love and prayers for children in Syria and Gaza.
Before we delve into the recipe, Haleem is pulses cooked with/without meat with a special spice that gives it its distinct aromatic flavor. Let us know how you all liked it.
Time taken: 2.15 h
- Broken wheat: 3/4 cup
- Red lentils: 2 handfuls
- Urad dal: 1 handful
- Chana dal: 1 handful
- Moong dal: 1 handful
- Chicken (with bones or boneless)/beef/mutton/lamb: 1 lb
- Haleem masala: 3 tbsp + 2 tbsp at the end
- Turmeric and red chilli powder: 1 tsp each
- Green chillies
- Ginger-garlic paste
- Bay leaf: 2
- Ghee: 2 tbsp
- Fried onions: to garnish
- Cilantro/mint and lime (optional)
If you do not have access to Haleem masala where you stay, you can try a mix of coriander, cumin, turmeric, red chilli powder, nigella seeds, bay leaf, cardamon, cinnamon, cloves, pepper, ginger and garlic. Similarly, pre-cook lamb and beef if you are cooking Haleem with it. Chicken can be cooked with the daal as it takes very little time to cook.
- Soak broken wheat lentils and all daals overnight.
- Drain the lentils and grains and place in a large heavy-based saucepan with meat and bones, garlic, ginger and water and bring to the boil. Simmer for around 2 h, stirring occasionally.
- Next, add the bay leaf and ginger-garlic paste in ghee and cook till it catches a bit of brown. Add the Haleem masala.
- Add meat (chicken/beef/mutton/lamb) and cook for about 2-3 min on high flame and two more minutes on low flame.
- Add this to your daal as “tadka” to it and let it simmer for about 5-7 min on low flame.
- Add the Haleem masala, a bit of ghee and cook for another 2 min.
- Garnish with fried onions, cilantro/mint and lime.