The month of Ramadan is the month in which the Quran was sent down,
a guidance for the people, and clear verses of guidance and criterion.
[Quran: Chapter 2:183]


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ramadan Iftar Recipes | Tasty Food From India

Haleem Recipe

In India, as in most Muslim communities, iftar during Ramadan is often done as a community, with Muslims gathering to break their fast together. Traditionally, a date is the first thing to be consumed during Iftar when the fast is broken. This is in keeping with the Prophet's Sunnah (that is, the way of the prophet).

One of the more popular iftar dishes in India is the haleem, a type of thick stew made from pounded wheat and mutton (or beef). The Haleem is said to have originated from Hydrebad in South India. The main ingredients include mutton, cracked wheat, lentils, ginger & garlic paste, turmeric and spices. It is served hot with ghee based gravy put on top, lime pieces, coriander and fried onions as garnish. It is somewhat similar to the Moroccan harira that was featured here recently, but the haleem has a lot more spices.

The haleem is traditionally slow cooked for at least 10 hours in a cauldron and two men, usually, hit with large wooden sticks all through out the preparation, until it gets to a sticky-smooth consistency, similar to mashed mince. The cooking of haleem in Hyderabad is mastered to an art form.

But here is a haleem recipe that you can do right in your own kitchen, in 2 hours, without need for cauldrons or beefy men. Phew!

Haleem Recipe


2 lbs Boneless pieces of Lamb
3 cups Cracked wheat
4tbsp Ginger-Garlic paste
1 cup Mixed lentils [urad daal,chana daal]
1tbsp Red Chilli powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1 n 1/2 cup Yougurt
1 cup Golden n Crisp fried onions [ the readymade brands available in the market can be used,if you want to save time]
1/2 cup Cashew nuts
1 tsp Garam Masala powder[1 tsp shahi zeera,2-3 cardamom,2-3 cloves and 1" cinnamon stick...blend into a fine powder]
1/2 tsp Black Pepper corns
Whole spices- 1" cinnamon stick, 2-3 cloves,2-3 cardamom
1/2 cup Ghee
Fresh Herbs- 1 cup fresh coriander, 1/4 cup fresh mint and 5-6 green chillies
Salt to taste
1/2 cup oil.


1) First wash and soak the cracked wheat for atleast 1/2 hour.Then wash and clean the lamb thoroughly,trimming off any excess fat.

2) Mix the lamb with 1 tbsp of Ginger-Garlic paste, 1/ tsp of salt, red chilli powder,1/2 tsp garam masala powder and 1/4 tsp tumeric.

3) Pressure cook the lamb on high for 8-10 min and then simmer for another 15-20 min. After it cools down, shred the meat and keep aside.

4) Boil the cracked wheat along with the mixed lentils,1tbsp ginger-garlic paste, 1/ tsp turmeric powder, 3-4 green chillies, 1/2 tsp black pepper corns in 8-10 cups
of water until its cooked completely and the water is almost absorbed by the wheat.

5) Put this wheat in a blender and pulse for a few seconds. Remove and keep aside.

6) Heat the oil in another container, add the whole spices, the cooked shredded lamb, remaining green chillies, 1/2 cup fresh coriander and saute for a 2-3 min.

7) Add the yoghurt and saute for another 10- 15 min.

8) Add 3 cups of water and bring it to a boil.

9) Add the cooked wheat and mix well, add a little bit of ghee at a time. Add salt if needed.

10) Simmer for at least 1/2 hour, stir regularly.

Motes: You can substitute the ghee with butter, or use olive oil (as a healthier option).

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Special Ramadan Series

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Ramadan Mubarak. We wish you a blessed and productive Ramadan! Make no mistake about it - keeping the fast and increasing our acts of worship during this blessed month is not an easy task. The physical demands of balancing work or school with fasting all day, feeling fatigued and less effective than you normally are, waking up for Suhoor, praying Teraweeh and Tahajjud prayers, dealing with sleep deficits.

But the last thing we would want is to let Ramadan pass us by without doing all that we aim and desire to. Do not allow yourself to feel guilty or regretful when Ramadan passes.

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