Looking for a quick and easy chicken haleem? Well you’re in the right place! If you know me, you know I love to keep things quick, simple and clean in the kitchen. So this haleem recipe hack is going to be your new favorite way to whip up this otherwise complex dish on weeknights because it comes together in under an hour without sacrificing on flavor! Plus, it’s meal prep friendly too!
What is haleem
Traditionally Haleem is a slow cooked stew made with meat (beef or mutton), grains (wheat and or barley) and lentils. Although it has Persian roots, haleem has evolved into different variations throughout the world. In Pakistan and India there is yet another variation called khichra where the meat is left in chunks rather than shredded.
Because I eat a gluten free diet, traditional haleem has had to go but not any more! I created this recipe so that not only is it gluten free, but also quick enough to grace your weeknight dinner table. So let’s get cooking!
Ingredients & substitutions
Chicken stock: I batch make yakhni/bone broth and usually have some ready to go in the freezer.
Rolled oats: Rolled oats are best because they don’t take very long to cook yet give a good texture to the haleem. Many recipes call for rice but we are keeping it lower on carbs.
Toor dal (split yellow pigeon pea lentil): Also known as Arhar daal. Again, a quicker lentil to cook. It does need to be presoaked overnight or at least an hour before cooking. Make sure to wash the lentils thoroughly before adding it to the stock.
Tomatoes and green chili: Processed together and added for quick cooking.
Spices: Garam masala, red chili powder and salt.
Boiled chicken: I have some on hand from the yakhni.
Onion: Sliced thin and fried for the tempering.
Garnish: lemon, ginger, cilantro and a sprinkle of my homemade roasted cumin-coriander masala that I bulk prep (recipe below) and garnish most of my curries with. You can sub with chaat masala too.
Roasted Cumin-Coriander Masala
1 cup roasted cumin seeds
1 cup roasted coriander seeds
2 tablespoons fennel seeds
Grind all of these together till till in powder form. Store in an airtight container and use to garnish your curries and other Pakistani dishes for that extra oomph!
How to make haleem easy and quick
This is a much faster way to make a dish that is usually cooked for hours and even overnight in some homes but that just means you need to have many of the ingredients prepped ahead and use those that cook faster, like:
- Make it with chicken instead of the traditional beef or mutton.
- Cook with rolled oats and toor daal instead of tougher grains like cracked wheat and channa daal.
- Have stock/yakhni/broth ready to go. I have a great recipe for yakhni you can check out!
How to make it
Begin by pouring the yakhni into a large stock pot or dutch oven. Have the stove on at medium high heat. While the stock is heating, crush the tomatoes and green chili in a food processor and add that to the pot. Next, add the soaked and thoroughly washed toor daal and the rolled oats. Then add the spices and cover the pot. Lower the heat to medium and let everything cook together for about 30 minutes.
While the haleem is cooking, fry the onion until golden. This should take about 10 minutes or so.
Prepare the boiled chicken by deboning it and chopping it up. I usually freeze some from when I make yakhni.
Cut up the garnish.
Some helpful tips
- The cooking will go much faster if you have everything mise en place (ready and prepped in one place)
- Use an immersion blender before adding the chicken to smooth out the haleem.
What to eat with chicken haleem
Traditionally haleem is eaten with naan and at dinner parties it is usually supplemented with samosas. You can serve it with a small salad if you wish to keep it low carb.
If you liked this recipe then I’m sure you’ll love these:
If you try this recipe I’d really appreciate you rating it below! And let me know in the comments how it worked out for you. And if you take a pic, tag me on Instagram @eatdrinkure, I love seeing your creations!
Quick and Easy Chicken Haleem
For the haleem
- 5 cups chicken broth yakhni
- 1 cup split yellow pigeon peas also known as Toor, Arhar
- 1 cup rolled oats gluten free
- 2 medium tomatoes I use Roma
- 1 small green chili I use Serrano
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chopped boiled chicken
For the tempering
- 1 medium onion sliced thin
- 3 tablespoon oil
For the garnish
- 1 handful cilantro chopped
- 1 inch knob ginger peeled and sliced thin
- 1/2 green chili chopped
- 1 lemon cut into quarters
- chaat masala/roasted cumin coriander masala
- Wash and soak toor daal over night or at least 30 minutes.
- Begin by pouring the yakhni into a large stock pot or dutch oven. Have the stove on at medium high heat.
- While the stock is heating, crush the tomatoes and green chili in a food processor and add that to the pot.
- Next, add the soaked and thoroughly washed toor daal and the rolled oats. Then add the spices and cover the pot. Lower the heat to medium and let everything cook together for about 30 minutes.
- While the haleem is cooking, fry the onion until golden. This should take about 10 minutes or so.
- Prepare the boiled chicken by deboning the cooked chicken and chopping it up.
- Also cut garnish.
- After 30 minutes are up, remove the lid from the pot and increase the heat to medium high. You should see the stickiness from the oats and everything should have cooked through. If the lentil still has a bite to it, let cook covered for another 10-15 minutes.
- At this point you can use an immersion blender to smooth out the haleem if you wish and then add the chicken.
- Give everything a good stir and then add the fried onions along with the tempered oil.
- Garnish with the roasted cumin – coriander masala, cilantro and green chili. Drizzle lemon juice and enjoy!
- This recipe is great to bulk prep and freeze. Simply store in an airtight container (2-4 servings per container, depending on the size of your family) and thaw on the counter top for 30 minutes before heating in a sauce pan.