Haleem is a meat and wheat porridge popular in India, Iran, and other parts of the Middle East. There are many different varieties based on the different countries and regions. In Iran, Haleem is traditionally served for breakfast and can be enjoyed savory or sweet with traditional oatmeal toppings. It is similar to cream of wheat but with more flavor.
I remember my grandmother making Haleem with turkey. Our recipe is a veganized, savory, wheat and meat-free Haleem, using oyster mushrooms. I love this dish topped with lemon juice and sesame seeds, which are packed with nutrients.
Haleem is made with pelted wheat, which can be found at a Persian, Afghan, or Indian specialty store.
I was recently reading that Abdul-Baha, one of the central figures of the Baha’i Faith, helped feed the people of Haifa during World War I – when there was a blockade and the people faced famine – by growing wheat and rationing it to the people needing food. At the end of WWI, in 1920, Abdul-Baha was knighted by the British government for His service.
Next week is the start of the Baha’i Fast during which Baha’is around the world abstain from food and drink from sunrise to sunset for 19 days to prepare for Naw Ruz (the New Year). This hearty, wheat dish is not only a filling meal to begin each day but also a reminder of Abdul-Baha’s life of selfless service.
“Let each morn be better than its eve and each morrow richer than its yesterday. Man’s merit lieth in service and virtue and not in the pageantry of wealth and riches.” – Baha’u’llahPrint
A hearty, wheat and mushroom porridge
- 1 1/2 cups haleem wheat (also called pelted wheat) soaked overnight and drained
- 2 Tbsp. oil
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 3–4 oyster mushrooms julienned
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- Pinch tumeric
- Pinch black pepper
- Sesame seeds and lemon juice for garnish
- Add 5 cups of water and the soaked wheat to a large pot on medium heat. Cover and cook for 3-4 hours until tender, stirring occasionally and adding more water if needed.
- Once the wheat is cooked, add to a food processor and blend. Add back to the large pot.
- In a medium pan on medium heat, add the oil. Add the onion and garlic and fry for 3-5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, cinnamon, salt, turmeric, and black pepper. Fry for another 5 minutes. Add 1/4 cup water, and let cook another 5-10 minutes.
- Put the mushroom mixture in the food processor and blend.
- Add the blended mushroom mixture to the blended wheat mixture. If too thick, add more water. Cook another 1-2 hours on low heat, stirring occasionally, until well blended and creamy.
- Add more salt and pepper to taste.
- Garnish with sesame seeds and lemon juice.
Haleem is a simple recipe, but takes time to cook. If you have a slow cooker, you can slowly cook the wheat overnight to have ready in the morning.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 4 hours
- Category: Main Course
- Cuisine: Iranian/Persian
Keywords: Vegan, Plant-Based, Persian, Iranian, Haleem, Halim, Porridge