Haleem - Lamb and Barley Broth

We're reaching the end of the year and I've been thinking of making Haleem for quite some time, so what better way to enjoy this wonderfully hearty broth than with family.

Haleem is made with barley or cracked wheat and any kind of meat, I've used lamb and barley. It can be eaten any time of the day, I especially enjoy eating it during the cold winter morning’s.

My grandmother always knew to make this for me when we came to visit her in Iran, she knew it was one of my favourite dishes. I once even finished a whole pot by myself!


250g lamb

300g barley

1 small to medium sized onion

1 tsp salt

1/8th cup oil

For the garnish per bowl

1 tsp cinnamon (you may prefer a bit more or less)

1 tsp granulated sugar ( you can sprinkle more, depends how sweet toothed you are!)

1 to 2 tbsp hot oil

Note: The bowl I’m referring to is a cereal bowl


Step 1

  • Chop the onion and gently fry in a large pot with 1/8th cup of oil, enough to soften them

  • Add the lamb pieces to the onions

  • Gently fry them so they just loose their pinkiness

  • Add the salt and give it a stir

Step 2

  • Add the barley and 2.5 pints of cold water

  • Stir and increase the heat so that the broth starts to boil

  • Reduce the heat to medium low and cover the top

  • Allow to cook gently

Step 3

  • When the water reduces top the broth up with another 1 pint of water.

  • Continue this method until the lamb is cooked and literally becomes stringy and falls apart

Note the broth should not be too thick so as not to fall off of the spoon and stick!

  • Once your lamb has cooked remove the pot from the heat

  • If your lamb is not falling apart and you don't have enough time for the extra cooking then you can use a hand blender to blend the broth so that the lamb pieces and the barley are combined. Your Haleem is now ready.

  • Put the pot to one side and prepare the important garnish which makes Haleem what it is.

For the garnish per bowl

Step 1

  • In a small bowl heat up some oil, a small ladle should be enough

  • Pour the Haleem into a cereal bowl or a soup bowl

  • Sprinkle cinnamon on top

  • Then sprinkle the sugar

  • Now carefully take a table spoon of the hot oil and pour over the Haleem, you should hear that gorgeous crackling sound of hot oil hitting the Haleem covered sugar and cinnamon.

Enjoy on any day, my preference is in the mornings and especially on a crispy cold one, yummy 😁 Noosh-e-jaan 😁

Haleem - Lamb and Barley Broth with Cinnamon and Sugar
Haleem - Lamb and Barley Broth with Cinnamon and Sugar

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