Hyderabadi Mutton Haleem

Hyderabad is a land that is very closely entwined with its food.  What makes a Hyderabadi top the list of foodies is not just their passion for food, but also their dedication and effort that goes into the preparation of food, be it the selection of the finest of the finest raw materials or the utmost care they take while cooking or even the wholehearted way in which the food is served. The Hyderabadi cuisine is extremely popular in India with the Hyderabadi biriyani usually taking up most of its credit, this cuisine is not just about biriyanis. Another popular item on this meat-intensive cuisine is the ‘shahi haleem’. Available exclusively during the holy month of Ramzan or other important events like weddings, Haleem is an absolutely royal treat. It is a  kind of stew prepared by slow cooking wheat,rice and lentils along with mutton pieces and served with fried onions, lime and ghee. The slow cooking ensures that all the juices of the mutton is incorporated into the dish giving it a very rich flavor. The most aromatic and flavorful spices are handpicked into the preparation of the haleem and is cooked until it gets a nice and creamy consistency. The taste is so intense that if you taste it once, you will remember it forever.



  • Mutton pieces with bones – 1kg
  • Broken wheat – 1 cup soaked for few hours
  • Lentils (Mong dal, urad dal, toor dal etc) – a handful each, soaked for few hours
  • Basmati rice – a handful, soaked for few hours
  • Whole spices – Cinnamon, cardamom, pepper, khas, aniseed, star aniseed, cloves etc – 2 or 3 of each
  • Freshly powdered garam masala – 2-3 teaspoons
  • green chilly paste – 2 teaspoons
  • ginger garlic paste – 2 teaspoon
  • green chilies – 3-4 slit
  • Onions – 1 roughly chopped, 2 – fried.
  • Coriander leaves – 1/2 cup
  • Mint leaves – 1/2 cup
  • red chilly powder – 3 teaspoons
  • turmeric powder – 2 teaspoons
  • beaten yogurt – 1/2 cup
  • ghee
  • oil
  • salt to taste


  1. In a pressure cooker, heat oil and add all the whole spices and roast.
  2. Add half of the sliced onions and the slit green chilies.
  3. Add the mutton pieces and saute well for few mins.
  4. Add water enough to cover the mutton, sufficient salt and pressure cook on high flame for one whistle and then on low for an hour.
  5. In another pressure cooker add the broken wheat, lentils and rice.
  6. Add about three times water as the quantity of the dals, sufficient salt and close and pressure cook on high flame for one whistle and then on low flame for 45 minutes.
  7. Once the meat and lentils are cooked, open the pressure cooker and mash thoroughly.
  8. Remove the bones from the mutton and blend the mutton and the lentils into a pasty texture.
  9. Heat a pan and add some ghee, you can also add oil instead of ghee.
  10. Add onions and saute well.
  11. Add ginger garlic paste and green chilly paste and saute until raw smell goes.
  12. Add the coriander leaves and mint leaves.
  13. Add Chilly powder, turmeric powder and fresh garam masala powder and stir well.
  14. Add some beaten curd and mix.
  15. add the ground mutton and lentil paste and mix thoroughly.
  16. Check for seasoning and add salt or garam masala if necessary.
  17. Add a little bit of the mutton stock obtained from cooking the mutton, little ghee and cook on medium flame constantly stirring.
  18. Turn off the flame when you get a thick and creamy paste like consistency.
  19. Garnish with fried onions, lemon wedge and pour some ghee on top.


  1. Instead of grinding the mutton and lentils into a paste, you can just cook and mash them until they are pasty.  However too much cooking causes the juices to evaporate so the flavor wont be as intense.
  2. you can cook mutton and lentils in the same pressure cooker but the cooking time of both are different, so the consistency may not be so perfect. 
  3. you can use normal vessel instead of pressure cooker but it will take longer time to cook. 
  4. you can use chicken or beef instead of mutton in this recipe, but trust me, nothing like mutton !! 



3 thoughts on “Hyderabadi Mutton Haleem

  1. Was searching for a well written recipe for haleem after I tried it out in my last visit to HYD, thanks Basha.
    Haleem, coupled with a glass of Sulaimani Tea, it’s divine 😉


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