Harees, a one pot porridge, is a staple Iftar food in Middle East. It is also very popular in the North Kerala. To be honest I had hardly heard about it before my marriage. I was in the impression that both Haleem and Harees are same. During a bloggers meet, Sahar explained about this dish in detail. She also mentioned that there are different versions available in town.
I tasted it once from a restaurant and I found it as a light and soothing dish. I am a bit excited about this blog post as the recipe is being shared by an expert.
Sahar is the author of “Oryx Land Life” (www.oryxlandlife.com), where you could read all about about Food, Lifestyle, Nature and Travel.
Over to Sahar M. Abdulla
‘Haleem’, a famous Indian/Pakistani dish is quiet similar to the Qatari harees but the recipes require more spices and lentils whereas Qatari authentic Harees is made from just whole wheat, meat and some whole spices. As simple as it may sound, Harees is not easy to prepare. This dish traditional used two strong people beating the cooked wheat and meat mixture to a thick thread like consistency with a wooden whisk like utensil which requires so much of labour! Hand blenders have taken its place in many homes today and the taste and consistency has dramatically been altered.
I always love traditional dishes prepared the authentic way and when I prepare harees at home I use a meat Tenderizer mallet/hammer and an old pot which I don’t mind destroying! My hubby is the main person who beats the thick broth like mixture to the thread consistency! Thank God for his amazing strong arms!! And I make Harees just once a year as it needs muscle power!
Harees is served with fresh ghee, fried onions and optionally raisins, though my best advice is to have the Harees on its own. My husband eats it with sugar which is another form of consumption!
So here goes the recipe;
- Whole wheat kernels broken – 3/4 cup (goes a very long way) (Called Jereesh in Qatar)
- Meat (lamb/chicken) – 750 grams – 1000 grams
- Onion – 1 halved
- Ginger – 1 inch piece crushed
- Cinnamon stick – one 3″ piece
- Cloves – 3
- Cardamom – 2
- Salt – to taste
- Ghee and fried onions – to garnish
- Wash and soak the wheat berries overnight.
- In a large pot, add 6 to 8 cups of water. Add the meat, onion, and whole spices except ginger to the water and let the meat cook until tender over low heat. I would advise you to use a pressure cooker to make this procedure easy.
- When meat is cooked to fall off the bone texture, discard the bones and add them back to the stock along with the soaked wheat berries and cook over low flame stirring frequently so as to minimize the wheat from sticking onto the walls of the pot for approximately 3 to 4 hours. The texture changes from watery to a thick porridge and some of the porridge gets stuck to the walls of the pot as well.
- When all the water has been absorbed add the crushed ginger and salt and beat using a wooden whisk or meat tenderizing hammer. Remove the whole spices from the mixture as you beat.* Alternately you can use a hand blender. Beat until the consistency resembles thread when scooped out.
- Serve hot with melted ghee/butter and fried onions. Enjoy!
Scoop of Love’s goal is to share the few authentic recipes made by the best hands, which are tried, tested and tasted.
Now if you think what benefit would I get? It is a secret pleasure of adding more authentic recipes to my treasure box. And why not, it is more fun to hear more about the minute things like a story, ingredients even tips right from the person who has mastered it.