Lamb Haleem | The Best Indian Spiced Stew Recipe

Lamb Haleem | The Very Best Indian Spiced Stew Recipe

Lamb Haleem | The Very Best Indian Spiced Stew Recipe

This gorgeous lamb haleem is packed full of wonderful flavours. This Indian spiced stew recipe is filling, warming, comforting and delicious!

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Lamb Haleem | The Best Indian Spiced Stew Recipe
Lamb Haleem | The Best Indian Spiced Stew Recipe

Introduction

My first experiences of Indian food were the simple takeaway classics we all know and love. Between takeaways and terrible supermarket offerings, I had tried most of the well known dishes by my teens. Chicken Tikka Masala, Madras, Korma, Saag Aloo, even the takeaway version of the Lamb Dhansak I posted yesterday.

In the years that followed, I learned a little more about what I liked and what I didn’t. I also did my best to learn how to cook the wonderful dishes I’d fallen in love with.

Once again, I started with the basics. I first cooked a fairly generic curry. From there, I moved on to cooking dishes like the Dhansak I mentioned above, and like the Saag Aloo. I started with the dishes whose contents spoke for itself. A Dhansak could be spiced any which way I liked, as long as it contained lentils. I didn’t have to fully understand the history of a Saag Aloo as long as it was filled with spinach and potato.

Lamb Haleem | The Best Indian Spiced Stew Recipe
Lamb Haleem | The Best Indian Spiced Stew Recipe

About the dish

I do enjoy experimenting with the lesser known Indian dishes. At least lesser known in this country! I have been learning more and more about the authentic versions of the dishes we know and love. And about the regional dishes that may not have quite made it to the UK.

One of those dishes you’re very unlikely to see on an Indian takeaway menu is Lamb Haleem. Haleem is a gorgeous Indian spiced stew made with meat, grains and spices. But it differs from other, similar dishes in just how far that stewing process is taken.

In the case of haleem, the dish is put together and stewed very, very long and slow. So long and slow, in fact, that the whole meal breaks down. Even the grains and meat disintegrate more and more. And the whole dish comes together to form a wonderful, delicious paste.

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About this authentic lamb dhansak curry

As I stated above, in this version of the dish we will be using lamb. Although we could use any protein we have available. For example, mutton would be a great alternative. Because mutton brings masses of delicious flavour and melty texture.

Even beef would be a perfectly suitable meat to use, but it depends how strongly you feel about authenticity. Beef is absolutely eaten in some parts of India, but it is a lot less common than lamb.

In this recipe, we’re going to use diced pieces of lamb shoulder. But you could absolutely use ground meat.

Normally, this recipe would also be made with cracked wheat and lentils. We are going to use lentils, but we’re going to replace the wheat with pearl barley. This is simply because pearl barley is more commonplace in most poeple’s cupboards. You can use whatever grain you like. Even rice is sometimes used as the grain here.

Lamb Haleem | The Best Indian Spiced Stew Recipe

Things to remember!

  • Give the dish time! It’s a long, slow process. I tend to soak the grains overnight. And then get everything cooking all throughout the day. Because it just makes everything that much easier.
  • You want to make sure everything is really nicely broken down. At least if you want to make it as authentic as possible. If you don’t, it will still be pretty damned tasty as a slow-cooked spiced stew. Filled with wonderful, broken down bits and pieces of meat and grain.
  • Use what you have available. Tradition is all well and good. But it isn’t the only thing that matters. In fact, there is a lot of good to be stumbled upon by using whatever you have lying around. Within reason!
  • This wonderful, thick Haleem works very well with flatbreads. You could pair it with rice. But there are already grains in the sauce. If you’d like to make flatbreads, check out my perfect Indian flatbread recipe right here!
Lamb Haleem | The Best Indian Spiced Stew Recipe
Lamb Haleem | The Best Indian Spiced Stew Recipe

Similar Recipes & Useful Sides

The Best Kashmiri Lamb Rogan Josh Recipe – An unexpected favourite, a childhood favourite in its grown up form. Rich, deep and incredible.

Passanda Sauce Recipe – An Authentic Leftover Chicken Curry – The sexiest, creamiest, butteriest, chickeniest curry I’ve ever made and an absolute personal favourite.

Goan Lamb Curry – Another of Goa’s beautiful curries. This time a delicious vindaloo style lamb dish!

The Best Indian Flatbread Recipe – The best Indian flatbreads you’ve ever seen. Seriously.


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Subscribe to my newsletter now for a free guide to cooking curries! AND I’ll send you weekly tricks, tips and updates that will help you elevate your cooking to the next level!


Lamb Haleem | The Best Indian Spiced Stew Recipe

Lamb Haleem | The Best Indian Spiced Stew Recipe

This gorgeous lamb haleem is packed full of wonderful flavours. This Indian spiced stew recipe is filling, warming, comforting and delicious!
Prep Time 8 hrs
Cook Time 8 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 2

Ingredients
  

Base

  • 400 g Lamb any braising cut
  • 1 lrg Onion
  • 1/2 cup Mung Lentils or red lentils
  • 1/2 cup Pear Barley or any appropriate grain
  • 500 ml Stock
  • Salt
  • Cooking Oil or ghee
  • Coriander Leaves
  • Lemon Juice
  • Butter

Spices

  • 1 tsp Coriander Seeds
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1 tsp Chilli Powder
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1/2 tsp Cracked Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric

Paste

  • 1 inch Fresh Ginger
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • Coriander Stalks

Instructions
 

Prep your ingredients

  • Soak half a cup of lentils and half a cup of pearl barley in water overnight. Make sure there’s enough water to submerge them fully and at least half as much again. They will expand as they soak.
  • Peel and finely dice the onion, then set aside.
  • Dice the meat into small pieces and sear in a hot pan with cooking oil or ghee. Then set aside.

Make your spice mix

  • In a hot, dry pan toast 1 tsp coriander seeds and 1 tsp cumin seeds for a minute or two, stirring and turning often to make sure they don’t colour.
  • Remove when suitably brittle and grind into a powder using a pestle and mortar. Add 1 tsp chilli powder, 1 tsp Garam Masala, 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper and 1/2 tsp turmeric. Set aside.

Make your paste

  • Peel and finely chop at least a cubic inch of ginger, 3 cloves of garlic and, optionally, an equal amount of coriander stalks. Blend or grind together and set aside.

Cook

  • In a well oiled (or gheed) pan on a low temperature, caramelise the onion with a little salt for 8 minutes, then increase the heat to medium.
  • Find a gap in the pan and if necessary top up the fat. Add the dry spice mix to that gap and cook through for a minute or so. Don’t go too crazy. They burn quickly!
  • Mix everything back together and then do the same thing for the curry paste. Find a gap, top up the fat and cook through for a minute or so. Then mix everything together again.
  • Add 500ml stock and the soaked grains and lentils. Stir everything together.
  • Add the meat, bring to temperature and then drop the pan to low.
  • Put a lid on the pan and maintain a very low temperature for at least 8 hours. Overnight works best.
  • Either every once in a while or, if more appropriate, when you wake up in the morning, thoroughly mix the ingredients together. It’s useful to use a heavy duty instrument like a spoon AND a lighter one like a whisk.
  • Keep repeating this process until everything is mashed together into a beautiful, thick paste, with just the tiniest bit of texture left to give the meal a little bite. You can add a wedge of butter at this stage if you see fit.
  • Season the meal to taste and serve, garnishing with lemon juice, followed by fresh coriander.
Keyword Beef Curry, Haleem, Indian Stew, Khichda, Khichra, Lamb, Lamb Curry, Lamb Haleem, Spiced Stew

If you’ve enjoyed this recipe or have any comments or queries, please do let us know in the comments section below! And don’t forget to like and share!

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