Slow-Cooker Haleem – A Traditional Mixed Lentil and Meat Soup

I have yet to meet any non-vegetarian who doesn’t like haleem. For those of you who has never had haleem or are not aware of what it is here is a little description. Traditional haleem is a soup that is made with mixed lentils and meat (usually red meat – lamb, goat or beef), cooked slowly to make sure that the lentils are soft and the meat has disintegrated into the soup like dish. It is served with your choice of condiments like lime, fried onions known as beresta and others. This is one of our favourite dishes but I don’t like standing by the stove or at least the constant vigilance that is required for the long slow cooking. So I have taken the traditional recipe and, without compromising taste, adopted it for the slow-cooker.

Halim with Condiments

Slow-Cooker Haleem


2 Lamb Shanks cut into pieces (or about 2 lbs of meat with bones)
1.5 to 2 cups mixed Daal
2 cups Onions, finely diced
2 tbs Garlic paste
3-4 tsp Ginger paste
6-7 Cardamom
3 – 1″ pieces Cinnamon stick
4-6 Allspice, whole
1 tsp Clove
1 tsp Black Pepper, whole
1 tsp Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp Chili powder, (use more or less to taste)
2 tsp Coriander powder
2 tsp Cumin Powder
1 cube beef bullion or 1 cup broth
Salt to taste
Green chili, for cooking
Oil for cooking
3-4 bay leaves (optional)


Cumin-Coriander powder, equal amounts toasted and ground (fresh)
Beresta (fried onion)
Fresh Ginger, julienned for condiment
Coriander leaves, chopped
Green Chili, finely chopped
Lime or Lime Juice

Wash the meat and drain all water. Set aside.

Wash the daal and place in slow-cooker. Do not turn on slow-cooker.

In a pot heat oil and add bay leaves, cinnamon and cardamon. Once they are aromatic (about 30 seconds) add onions and saute until the onions are starting to turn light golden (stir as needed). Add ginger and garlic pastes. Saute for another minute or so stirring as required. Add allspice, clove, pepper, turmeric, chili powder, cumin powder, coriander powder and incorporate with the onions. Add one or two green chilies and a about 1/4 cup of water and cook the spice mixture until the water is evaporated and oil separates. Add the meat and coat the meat with the spice mixture. Cook for about 5-10 minutes. Stirring occasionally if  needed. Now add the meat with the spice mixture to the daal in slow-cooker. Add the bullion or broth. Add enough water to cover all the ingredients. Be generous with your water as lentils and beans tend to absorb large amount of water. Turn on your slow-cooker and cook. In low cook for 4-6 hours and on high about 3 hours. Once cooked taste for salt and add as required. Also if the haleem is too thick, add more liquid and bring to a boil. Depending on the size of your slow-cooker, you may need to transfer to a large pot and do this last step on the stove top.

Condiments for Halim

Serve with condiments and allow each individual to add condiments to their liking.

This will make enough servings for 6-8 as main course or 10-12 as soup or appetizer.

Halim Ready to Eat


  • Another meat like chicken or beef can be substituted for lamb.
  • If you don’t want to use broth or bullion, substitute with water.
  • If you don’t have a slow-cooker, make it on stove top by cooking it over low heat until the meat comes off the bones and the daal is cooked. A pressure cooker can be used as well.

10 responses to “Slow-Cooker Haleem – A Traditional Mixed Lentil and Meat Soup

  1. Thank you for sharing this in the Eid Party, Tunazzina :-). I am so glad to discover and follow your lovely blog!

  2. im new to using a pressure cooker so for haleem are we suppose to add oil to the pressure cooker to keep it from sticking at the bottom?

    • Sorry for the delayed response. Due to a winter storm, I didn`t have access to internet for 4 days. You can add a little oil when cooking in pressure cooker. Specially if you first saute the onions.

  3. Pingback: Haleem – African Lentil & Meat Soup | Recipes Home·

  4. Pingback: Slow-Cooker Haleem | Recipes Home·

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