Haleem is a popular porridge dish in South Asia made with barley, wheat, meat and lentils. It's a long slow cooked process to develop the spiced flavors into the tender meat and lentils. Haleem being my favorite dish growing up, made me quickly realize how much effort went into making it after I moved out of my parents home. Bless my mothers hands, who would make it in an instant for me and still does whenever I visit but I HAD to find a quicker version.
Of course, the authentic version is out of this world but this savory oatmeal version does the fix when I'm craving a childhood favorite. Also it helps that my kids LOVE oatmeal and this is a great dish for gluten free eaters. :)
You want to start with any kind of meat or chicken gravy. This can be left over or freshly made. One of my favorite chicken curries is from my Khousay (Khao Suey) recipe. The Chicken gravy is a great base for your oatmeal haleem. I make mine with just chicken and the gravy but you can always add lentils or barley for added depth of flavor.
Chicken Gravy Ingredients:
2 lbs Boneless Thighs (small cubes)
2 tbsp Coconut Oil
1 tbsp Garlic/Ginger Paste
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
1/2 tsp Cumin powder
1/2 tsp Coriander powder
1 tsp Garam Masala
Salt (to taste)
1 cup (8oz) Tomato Sauce
1/4 cup Fried Onion
Brown the chicken in a pot with oil and garlic/ginger paste. Add the spices and let them bloom for a minute. Now add the tomato sauce and cook until the liquid released from the chicken dries down. Stir in the fried onions, put the heat on low, cover and cook until chicken cooks through and oil separates from gravy. Check for seasoning (salt).
Once you have your cooked chicken or meat gravy, you will want to add your old fashioned oats. Basically for every 1 lb of meat I add 1 cup of oatmeal. The above recipe is for 2 lbs of meat so you're looking at 2 cups of oatmeal. DO NOT use instant oats, you want to use the actual oats that cook on your stove top.
Then just follow the cooking instructions on the back of your oatmeal package. I like to add enough chicken stock or water to just cover the chicken and oatmeal. My package said 1 3/4 cup of liquid for every 1 cup of oats.
Now just cover and let it cook through on low heat.
Once your oatmeal is cooked through you will want to use an immersion blender to blend/puree the oatmeal and chicken into one smooth thick porridge
At this time check your seasonings for salt, and if its too thick add some more chicken stock or water.
In a separate fry pan, fry up half a small onion (sliced) until its golden brown, in about 1/4 cup of oil. Now add the oil and fried onions into your haleem and give it a nice mix.
**Be careful, it may splatter!
Squeeze in half of a freshly squeezed lemon and serve!
Enjoy this delicious, flavorful spiced oatmeal on a busy weeknight, with some freshly chopped cilantro, some extra fried onions and a slice of lemon if desired. It's sure to be a hit among not only the adults but also the kids!