Haleem Chicken & Rice with Vegetables & Pitas

The ingredient list and recipes for this menu were all mixed together, so I am leaving them that way. Deal.

Buy: Indian grocery store stuff…

  • Shan brand Shahi Haleem mix (comes in a cake-mix size box; contains a packet of grains, and a package of spices)
  • Shan brand Meat Masala mix (medium spicy; smaller box – 100 g; contains a package of spices)
  • ARZ Lebanese pitas (7” – 6 to a package (white, and thinner than our usual))
  • 4 or 5 small skinny green chile peppers (looks like thin, long jalapenos)
  • 3 Kareelay (looks like 5-6” long pickles with leprosy bumps all over them)
  • Haldiram brand Khatta Mitha (neon green bag with trail-mix type stuff in it for snacking while you’re cooking – crunchy, sweet and sour – VERY good)

Also need:

  • 2 1/2 cups brown basmati rice
  • 2 1/2 lbs. of boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 bulb garlic
  • 5 tomatoes
  • 10 onions
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 heaping teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 egg, scrambled
  • 2 cups olive oil
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • Lemon juice

Chicken Dish:

Cut the chicken up into 1-2” pieces, and cook it in a large pot with 3/4 cup olive oil. Add 2 medium onions (cut into chunks), and almost 1 whole garlic bulb, separated into cloves (reserve 4 cloves for vegetable dish). Cook together until onions are golden brown. Add diced pieces of 2 chili peppers (approx 1 tablespoon) to the mixture along with approx 2/3 of the spice bag from the haleem mix box. Cook and stir occasionally.

In a separate bowl, pour 2/3 of the grain bag from the haleem mix box into a bowl. Cover with water and let soak for 10-15 minutes. Drain. Pour into chicken mixture. Add 5 cups of water into the pot and set to simmer on medium heat, stirring occasionally for 2 hours. Cut up 2 tomatoes into chunks, and add to chicken, stirring to break up the chicken into shreds. Cook another 1-2 hours, adding more water as necessary – it should resemble a thick soup consistency, and the grain should not be chewy when done.


Cut an onion in half and slice in strips length-wise. Cook it in 1/4 cup olive oil until brown and crispy. Remove the onions from oil, and pat dry on paper towel. When serving the chicken, crumble the onions onto the chicken and sprinkle with a little lemon juice.

Brown Rice:

Put 2 1/2 cups brown rice in a bowl and cover with water – let soak 15 minutes. Put 1/2 cup olive oil in a large pot, and add 1 onion (cut in half, then sliced into strips, length-wise). Sauté until golden brown. Drain the rice and add it to the pot along with 1 teaspoon salt, and 4 1/2 cups of water. Bring it to a boil, and boil for about 2 minutes, then turn to low to simmer until all water has been absorbed.

Kareelay and Onion Vegetable dish:

Cut ends off kareelay, and peel/scrape the bumps off. Slice them down the center, and take out the center white part (resembles a zucchini inside), and discard it. Cut the remaining “rind” part into approx 3” length pieces, by 1” wide. In a large pot, saute them in 1/2 cup olive oil until golden brown. Cut 5-6 onions in half, and slice them into strips length-wise. Add them to the pot with the kareelay, along with 4 whole garlic cloves. Cook until the onions are translucent. Add 3 tomatoes cut into 1” chunks, 1 teaspoon salt, and 2-diced long green chili peppers. Add 3 teaspoons of the spices from the Meat Masala Mix box, and 1 heaping teaspoon of ground ginger. Simmer for a couple hours, stirring occasionally, until its getting dry – like a paste consistency. Add 1 egg, stir, and let simmer a little longer. Serve on warmed pitas as below.


Warm pitas in the microwave, or individually in a buttered frying pan.

To assemble/eat:

Put a large serving of rice on a plate, and cover with a generous portion of the chicken mixture, garnished as above, if desired.

Put pita on a plate, and place approx ¼ cup vegetable dish in the center of the pita. Put a dollop of plain yogurt off to the side of the pita. Tear off a piece of the pita, and dip/scoop in the vegetable mixture, then dip it in the yogurt, and eat.

Serves 8.

Fehma Food Book 1