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Autumn Spiced Haleem Recipe

This week we’re lucky to have a delicious dish straight from the kitchen of Taste of Mauritius (aka chef Selina Periampillai)…

Halim or Haleem is a popular dish originating from the Middle East, India and Central Asia. The recipe and the way it’s cooked differs from each region. In Mauritius, it is perfect comfort food, sometimes sold by street vendors it is a quick go to meal nowadays.

Learn how to prepare a delicious dish of Haleem

This dish is laden with wheat, barley and lentils giving it a thick rich soupy texture and with plentiful pieces of meltingly tender meat that have been slow cooked together. It can take hours of slow cooking to make this dish but you can get a tasty version within 1.5 hours. Which is what I like to hear - minimal effort for big rewards.

Now I know in Mauritius we are approaching the Summer season, but here in the UK where we have Autumnal chilly weather something like this really fits the bill. It will feed the whole family and is nutritious with the amount of protein, lentils, good carbohydrates and health benefiting spices.

I find the fresh coriander and mint to finish really gives it a fresh vibrant uplifting flavour. You can also add chunks of pumpkin or squash into the mix to add a touch of sweetness and they are very seasonal at the moment. It really is a one pot wonderful homely dish and something I regularly cook for the family. 

Haleem (Spicy Lamb Soup)

Serves: 4-6

Prep Time: 20 mins

Cooking Time: 1hour



Haleem Ingredients


·250g, Lamb Neck or Shoulder cut into chunks approx 15-20 pieces

·1 large onion, chopped finely

·1 tablespoon garlic & ginger paste

·50g yellow split peas

·50g brown lentils

·50g pearl barley

·1tsp turmeric powder

·1tsp cinnamon powder

·1/2tsp ground cardamom or 5 pods

·1 tsp chilli powder

·1 tablespoon cumin powder

·1 tsp salt

·1 tbsp coriander leaves

·1 tbsp mint leaves

·1 lemon, cut into wedges

·1 bunch of spring onion, chopped finely

·1tbsp oil


A chef preparing a dish of Haleem

Firstly in a heavy bottomed casserole pan, put the oil on a medium heat and sauté the chopped onions till they soften. Then add in the meat pieces and brown them off for 5 minutes. Next add in the garlic and ginger. Keep stirring occasionally to ensure the garlic and ginger don't burn.

In a bowl mix the spices together, add a splash of water to make it into a paste, pour this mixture into the casserole pan and mix well, ensure the meat pieces are coated. Next add in the yellow split peas, brown lentils and pearl barley, plus 300ml of water and salt.

The water should cover the lentils and meat. Put the lid on and let it cook slowly for 1 hour.

After an hour check the meat is tender, falling apart and taste for seasoning otherwise cook a little longer. Scatter over the fresh coriander, mint, spring onion and leave it to rest for 5 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges and a dollop of yoghurt if you wish.

For more on Taste of Mauritius see the new website and remember Selina is also available for private/event catering and recipe and menu development.

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