Pakistani Haleem is an amazing comfort food with a nourishing mix of grains, lentils, and meat. I’ve made it simple with the Instant Pot so you don’t have to cook all day, so if you’ve ever wondered how to make haleem in an Instant Pot or Pressure cooker, let me show you a one-step method to make this.
What is Pakistani Haleem?
Haleem is made of a mix of grains and lentils and some type of meat–often mutton or chicken. This dish is slow cooked for seven to eight hours, to thoroughly break down the meat and grains, resulting in a paste-like consistency.
Did I just lose you when I said Paste-like? I know I was not keen to eat or try this dish because of the paste-like part, but I now regret my reluctance because it’s not a paste–it’s a spoonful of deliciousness. The various grains, meats and spices just come together beautifully.
This is also a very nourishing dish, full of complex carbohydrates and protein. It is often made for Iftar during the month of Ramadan when the faithful fast from sunup to sundown. Breaking that long fast with a dish of rib-sticking haleem is a wonderful thing to long forward to.
This recipe makes a great dish for Ramadan! You can find more great Instant Pot Ramadan recipes in my 15 Instant Pot Ramadan Recipes post.
Pressure Cooker Pakistani Haleem
Pakistani Haleem is normally a dish that people just set out to cook all day. You have to cook it low and slow and really, it takes ALL DAY. I think we all know I don’t have the patience to cook anything all day for a single dish. The Instant Pot has spoiled me.
I set out to find the perfect Instant Pot recipe for Pakistani Haleem and I finally have it down. This turns out the same perfect, smooth consistency as when you make it with the traditional method, minus the monotonous stirring and long cook times.
My need for efficiency in all things has made this recipe quick so you can enjoy this comfort food anytime.
If you’re looking for more great Pakistani dishes, my Pakistani Chicken Karahi is to die for!
Ingredients for Pakistani Haleem
If you live close to an Indian grocery store, you may find a premade mix of cracked wheat berries and lentils labeled Haleem mix (not Haleem Masala which is a spice mix in a small cardboard box). You can use this in place of the wheatberries and lentils below. If not, look for cracked wheat like this to make up your own mix of lentils and wheat berries.
You can round out the meal with a wonderful Instant Pot Pakistani Zarda for dessert.
Also, my Instant Pot Beef Stroganoff is another fantastic comfort food recipe you can make in your Instant Pot that you’re sure to love.
EQUIPMENT YOU MAY NEED TO MAKE THIS INSTANT POT PAKISTANI HALEEM:
- Instant Pot Mini Duo, or Instant pot 6 quarts, or Instant Pot 8 Quarts
- Measuring Cups
- My favorite Cutting Board
- Good set of Kitchen Knives
- Immersion Blender
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- 1/4 cup Ghee
- 2 cups Sliced Onions
- 1 pound Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs left whole
- 4 cups water
- 1/2 cup cracked wheat berries
- 1/2 cup split chana dal or a mix of other split dals such as urad, toor, red lentils etc
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 1 tablespoon Minced Garlic
- 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
- 1 teaspoon Ground Coriander
- 1 teaspoon Turmeric
- 1 teaspoon cayenne
- 2 teaspoons Garam Masala divided
- Turn the Instant Pot on Sauté and when it is hot, add the ghee.
- To the hot ghee, add the thinly sliced onions and sauté until the onions are brown and crispy, about 10 minutes.
- Remove half the onions and set them aside for garnishing
- To the pot with half the onions and ghee, add the chicken, wheat berries and chana dal, 4 cups water, ginger, garlic, cayenne, turmeric, salt, cumin, coriander and 1 teaspoon of the garam masala.
- Cook on high pressure for 35 minutes and allow the pot to sit undisturbed for 10 minutes. Then release all remaining pressure.
- Open the lid and using an immersion blender, purée the meat and grains together until you have a smooth, thick stew.
- Add 1 teaspoon of Garam Masala and stir.
- Garnish with julienned ginger, the reserved fried onions, and chopped cilantro.
- Pour the additional ghee on top, and serve.
- You can substitute mutton or beef for the chicken in this recipe without changing anything else.
- Serve with naan or rice.