Quick and Easy Chicken Haleem Recipe: Perfect Weeknight Dinner in Under an Hour

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Written By Haryana’s Restaurant

Authentic Indian Food – Classic Indian Cuisine in Terrace BC

Looking for a quick and easy chicken haleem? You’re in the right place! This recipe hack will become your go-to for whipping up this traditionally complex dish on busy weeknights. Imagine enjoying a bowl of rich, flavorful haleem in under an hour without compromising on taste.

Haleem, a beloved dish in South Asian cuisine, typically involves slow-cooking grains, lentils, and meat for hours. But with our streamlined method, you’ll achieve that same hearty goodness in a fraction of the time. Plus, it’s perfect for meal prep, making your week that much easier.

We’ll be using boneless chicken, a mix of grains like wheat, barley, and rice, and a trio of lentils to create that signature sticky texture. Whether you prefer a homemade spice mix or a store-bought one, this recipe adapts to your needs, ensuring you get a delicious, comforting meal every time.


Here’s what you’ll need to make a delicious and quick chicken haleem. This hearty dish is streamlined for ease without compromising on flavor.

Main Ingredients

  • 350g (2 cups) chana dal, soaked for 4 hours
  • 170g (1 cup) masoor dal, soaked for 4 hours
  • 85g (½ cup) moong dal, soaked for 4 hours
  • 85g (½ cup) white urad dal, soaked for 4 hours
  • 180g (1 cup) cracked wheat, soaked for 4 hours
  • 1kg (2 ¼ lbs) chicken thighs, on the bone and skin removed
  • 250ml (1 cup) ghee
  • 2 large brown onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 generous tbsp garlic and ginger paste
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • Salt to taste

Spices and Seasonings

  • 1 ½ tbsp black peppercorns
  • 4 black cardamoms, seeds only
  • 4 green cardamoms, seeds only
  • 1 ½ tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 5 cloves
  • ¼ nutmeg or ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 blade mace or ½ tsp ground mace
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2.5cm (1 inch) cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 – 2 tsp Kashmiri chili powder (optional)

Additional Ingredients

  • Naans and chapatis
  • Instant naans
  • Peshwari naans
  • Stove top naans
  • Keema naans
  • Garlic naans
  • Tandoor naans (if you have a tandoor oven)
  • Karahi naans
  • Homemade chapatis

Necessary Equipment

To create a quick and easy chicken haleem, you will need specific kitchen tools to ensure the process is smooth and efficient. Here is the necessary equipment for preparing this flavorful South Asian dish:

Pressure Cooker or Instant Pot

A pressure cooker or Instant Pot is essential for cooking the chicken and grains quickly. The pressurized environment speeds up the cooking time significantly, allowing you to blend the ingredients seamlessly.

Deep-Bottom Pan or Dutch Oven

A deep-bottom pan or Dutch oven is ideal for sautéing the onions and cooking the mixture. The depth and thickness of these pans distribute heat evenly and prevent the mixture from burning.

Hand Blender or Regular Blender

To achieve the smooth, thick consistency of haleem, you will need a hand blender or regular blender for blending the cooked grains and lentils. This equipment helps to make a uniform paste effortlessly.

Shallow Pan

A shallow pan is needed for frying onions. Perfectly fried onions add a layer of flavor and texture to your haleem, and a shallow pan ensures they cook evenly.

Cutting Board and Knife

A sturdy cutting board and a sharp knife are vital for chopping onions and ginger. Precision cuts make the preparation easier and quicker.

Measuring Cups and Spoons

Accurate measurements are crucial for a successful haleem. Measuring cups and spoons help you measure ingredients like grains, lentils, and spices precisely.

Spatula and Spoon

A spatula and spoon are essential for mixing and serving haleem. They help you stir the mixture properly to avoid lumps and ensure even cooking.

Having these kitchen tools at hand will streamline your cooking process and make preparing chicken haleem a delightful experience.

Preparation Steps

Follow these steps to prepare a quick and easy Chicken Haleem. By soaking your grains and lentils in advance and properly prepping your chicken, you’ll ensure a flavorful and authentic result.

Soaking Grains and Lentils

  1. Gather Ingredients: Use a mix of chana dal, masoor dal, moong dal, white urad dal, and cracked wheat.
  2. Wash Thoroughly: Rinse the grains and lentils 3-4 times until the water runs clear.
  3. Soak: Soak the grains and lentils in warm water for at least 3 hours or overnight to ensure they become soft.

Preparing the Chicken

  1. Marinate Chicken:
  • Ingredients: Use boneless chicken thighs, yogurt, and spices.
  • Steps: Marinate the chicken with the yogurt and spices for at least 30 minutes to infuse flavors.
  1. Cook Chicken:
  • Heat Pan: In a deep-bottom pan, heat ghee until melted.
  • Sauté Onions: Add sliced onions and fry until golden brown.
  • Add Chicken: Add the marinated chicken and cook until tender, ensuring it’s well coated with the ghee and spices.
  1. Shred Chicken: Once cooked, shred the chicken into fine pieces and set aside for later use.

Effectively soaking the grains and lentils and properly preparing the chicken, you’ll create a delicious and authentic Chicken Haleem.

Cooking Instructions

Follow these step-by-step instructions to create a flavorful and comforting chicken haleem in no time.

Cooking the Haleem

  1. Soak Grains and Lentils: Start by soaking the following grains and lentils for at least 2 hours or overnight:
  • 1 cup cracked wheat
  • ½ cup split channa dal
  • ¼ cup urad dal (black gram split)
  • ¼ cup masoor dal (red lentils)
  • ¼ cup toor dal (pigeon peas)
  1. Cook Grains and Lentils: In a pressure cooker or large pot, combine the soaked grains and lentils with:
  • 2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 finely chopped green chili
  • Enough water to cover the mixture well

Cook this on medium heat for 1½ hours or until the lentils and grains are fully cooked and mushy.

  1. Cook Chicken: Marinate 400 gm boneless chicken thighs with:
  • 1 tbsp haleem spices
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup yogurt

In a separate pan, melt ¼ cup ghee and fry 2 cups sliced onions until golden brown. Add the marinated chicken and cook until the chicken is tender.

Blending Ingredients

  1. Blend Grains and Lentils: Once the grains and lentils are cooked, use an immersion blender to blend the mixture into a smooth paste. Add water as needed to achieve a thick but pourable consistency.
  2. Add Chicken: Shred the cooked chicken into fine pieces and add it to the blended grains and lentils. Mix thoroughly to ensure the chicken is evenly distributed.

Final Touches

  1. Prepare Tempering: Heat 2 tsp ghee in a shallow pan. Add:
  • 2 dried red chilies
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  1. Combine and Simmer: Pour the tempering over the haleem mixture. Stir well and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
  2. Garnish: Garnish with julienned ginger, fried onions, chopped coriander, and green chilies. Serve hot.

Serving Suggestions

Once you have prepared your quick and easy chicken haleem, consider these serving suggestions to elevate your dining experience with traditional accompaniments and garnishes.

Naan or Bread

For an authentic touch, serve your chicken haleem with naan or other types of flatbread. This pairing is commonly enjoyed in Pakistan and India, where the soft, warm bread perfectly complements the rich, hearty haleem.


Enhance the flavors and presentation of your chicken haleem with an array of traditional garnishes. Top your dish with sliced ginger, fried onions, chopped coriander, sliced chili peppers, fresh mint, cilantro, lemon wedges, and a sprinkle of chaat masala. These additions not only add a burst of flavor but also a delightful crunch and freshness.


For a lighter, low-carb option, serve your chicken haleem with a small side salad. A simple cucumber and tomato salad dressed with lemon juice, salt, and pepper can provide a refreshing contrast to the rich and spicy haleem.


Pairing chicken haleem with rice can turn it into a complete, satisfying meal. The mild flavor of steamed basmati rice complements the robust taste and texture of the haleem, making for a balanced and fulfilling dish.


At dinner parties or festive gatherings, consider serving chicken haleem alongside samosas. These crispy, savory pastries filled with spiced potatoes and peas offer a delightful contrast to the smooth, creamy haleem, creating an exciting mix of flavors and textures on your plate.

Choose any of these serving suggestions to enhance your quick and easy chicken haleem, creating a memorable and satisfying dining experience.

Storage Tips


To maximize the freshness and flavor of your quick and easy chicken haleem, store it in the refrigerator. Place the haleem in an airtight container, which helps preserve its taste and texture. You can keep the haleem refrigerated for up to 3 days. Make sure to reheat it thoroughly before serving.


Chicken haleem also freezes well, allowing you to enjoy this delicious dish later. Transfer the haleem to a freezer-safe airtight container, and it can be stored for up to a month. According to best practices, freezing for up to 45 days is also acceptable if you plan to reheat it completely. During the freezing process, the lentils in the haleem may absorb some moisture. When reheating, add a bit of water to adjust the consistency to your preference.


To thaw frozen haleem, bring it to room temperature by placing it on the countertop for 30 minutes to an hour. This step ensures that the haleem defrosts evenly and is easier to reheat.


When you’re ready to enjoy your stored haleem, reheat it on low heat. Stir occasionally to prevent the dish from sticking to the pan. Heat it until it reaches your desired serving temperature. If the haleem has thickened during storage, you can add a little water to reach the original consistency.

Using these storage tips, you can enjoy the richness and comfort of chicken haleem for days, making it a convenient and delicious meal option anytime.


Making chicken haleem doesn’t have to be a time-consuming task. With this quick and easy recipe, you can enjoy a flavorful and hearty meal in under an hour. Whether you serve it with naan, bread, or a side of salad, the dish is versatile enough to fit any dining occasion.

Don’t forget to garnish your haleem with fresh herbs, fried onions, and ginger to enhance its taste. Plus, with proper storage, you can keep your chicken haleem fresh for up to a month, making it a convenient option for busy days. Enjoy a delicious, homemade meal anytime with minimal effort.

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