Exploring Puerto Rico

Exploring Puerto Rico
At Cafe Puerto Rico in Old San Juan

Monday, August 30, 2010

Ramadan Essential

In my promise to a lot of you to divulge recipes of Ramadan iftar essentials, here I am writing a second night in a row highlighting a Bangladeshi iftar essential:  Haleem!!! My secret ingredient, or rather secret kitchen gadget is the slow cooker. Oh how I love thee! Add it all at once and forget about it. Sigh, wish all other dishes were as simple...

Haleem (mixed lentil soup with beef) -- A Ramadan must have!

-- 1/2 cup each of red lentils (masoor) and moog daal
-- 1/4 cup each chana daal and urad daal
-- 1/4 cup whole wheat grains
-- 1 1/2 pounds beef cubed (Mus does not like much meat in it. So add more if you like)
-- 2 onions, 1 1/2 Tbsp each garlic and ginger paste
-- 1 tbsp each turmeric and red chili, 2 tbsp each coriander, cumin and haleem masala
-- Juice of one lemon
-- Fixings: grated ginger, cut up onions, minced cilantro, juice of one lemon or cut up lemon slices, green chillies cut thinly.
-- Canola oil
-- Salt to taste

1. Overnight soak all pulses in water.
2. In a slow cooker, add in one cut up onions, garlic and ginger paste, all pulses, meat, whole wheat grains, all the spices. Mix well. Pour in about 1/4 cup canola oil. Start by adding in one tbsp salt. Add water to totally cover all pulses and set your slow cooker to low for 6 hours. If you are in a hurry, you can set it on high and cook for 3-4 hours. Do stir every half hour or so. Add more water if needed.
3. An hour before it's ready, pour in the lemon juice, 1 tbsp more of haleem mix and 1 Tbsp cumin. More if you like. Taste for salt.
4. In a small saucepan, heat up some oil and fry the remaining onion that is cut up thinly (to make beresta). On medium low heat, fry until crisp. Do not let it burn. Pour the onions with any remaining oil in to the haleem pot. Taste for salt.
5. Serve with all the fixings on the side (onion, ginger, green chillis, lemon juice and cilantro). Enjoy!


  1. So I had to check this recipe out since I wind up making huge batches once or twice for friends and all. I use mutton and beef both sometimes.. and put my own twist to it each time.
    Great blog! Keep it going :)

  2. Rupaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaam: Being new at blogging, getting a comment is music to my ears! I had no idea you cooked deshi stuff. So happy to hear it. I love mutton, but since Mustafa can't stand it, I use beef. Broth? I would have never thought of using it since it's flavorful enough with all the spices, lentils and juices from the meat and bones. Does the broth add a little zing to it and I should be using in the future?