High Protein Haleem

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Happy New Year everyone! We hope you had a wonderful festive period and that 2013 will be a great year for you.

So you know how we told you how much we love biryani and other rice -based dishes? This is a similar dish, a sort of “meat porridge” (or meaty khichadi?), as we’ve been calling it! We’ve wanted to make it for a while and over Christmas, stumbled over a recipe that seemed yummy and best of all, EASY! It’s an Indian dish which was roots in the Middle East and which is usually made up of lamb (or even chicken sometimes), a mixture of lentils and cracked wheat. It makes for an incredibly nourishing and delicious meal which is probably why it’s normally served during Ramadan – perfect after a day of fasting.

We haven’t been fasting (ha!), but we have been craving a stodgy hot meal since the mercury dipped recently. We also find it difficult to come home after a hard day at work, hungry, and try to rustle up something relatively healthy. (We’ve realised we make poor food decisions when we’re ravenous.) We’ve used puy lentils and substituted the cracked wheat for quinoa which means this meal is all about protein and fibre (topped with butter). Yum. Make this today and eat it all through the week!

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Makes 8 servings
Adapted from Khaleej Times, Ramadan Recipes, 20 July 2012

oil for frying
800g lamb, in cubes
4 tbsp ginger paste
4 tbsp ginger paste
2 tsp garam masala
pinch dry red chilli
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp paprika
2 litres water
100g puy lentils, soaked for 3o minutes in water
200g quinoa
0.5 tsp black pepper
salt to taste

ghee (optional)

  1. Heat enough oil to cover the bottom of a pan. Brown the lamb on medium heat.
  2. Add the ginger paste, garlic paste, salt, garam masala, chilli, paprika, turmeric and lentils and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the water and bring to boil.
  4. Then bring the heat down to a simmer, cover the pan and cook the lamb on low heat until tender. This took about us about 1.5 hours so this is a really good time to catch up on your TV, clean or try to do all the exercises in the winter issue of Women’s Health. Or something.
  5. About 1 hour into the cooking, add the quinoa and black pepper.
  6. When the lamb is tender, you may want to add more seasoning.
  7. Serve with a a chunk of ghee on top and enjoy!

So what do you think? Feel free to share your questions and comments below! We’d love to hear what you have to say.

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