Haleem (Meat Porridge)
This is a very smooth and satisfying porridge, traditionally made with bulgur, and served for breakfast only occasionally, since its preparation used to be an all-night effort! Back in the old days, without electric blenders and mixers , an eager chef would have had to stay up all night to slowly cook and constantly stir the Haleem to reach a creamy consistency. Sometimes it took two to stir the huge pot.
I had this dish when I was around 10 years old, at 6:30 am for breakfast at our neighbor’s house….that’s how memorable Haleem was to me. It was my first time having oatmeal and turkey, since neither are part of everyday Persian cuisine. The cook had been up since 3 a.m. preparing it for us. Thank you Khanum Shirmohammadi (our neighbor in Esfahan).
Luckily, due to modern technology, none of us have to lose sleep or spend endless hours mixing oat and meat. If you still have some left over Thanksgiving turkey, this dish would be ready in 30 minutes…I kid you not.
Ingredients (serves 4):
- 1 lb cooked turkey (breast or leg)
- 2 cup quick oatmeal
- 0.5 tsp salt
- water OR milk
- butter (optional)
Time ~30 min
- In a medium-sized pot add the oatmeal and salt. Stir and pour in enough hot water to cover (as you would making oatmeal for breakfast). Put the lid on and let stand.
- Place the turkey in blender and pulse.
- Add the shredded turkey to the oatmeal and mix using a wooden spoon. Add more water if it gets too thick.
- Cook on low heat for a couple of minutes, then puree the contents with a boat motor (immersion blender) or transfer it in batches to a blender and pulse several times to get a creamy consistency.
- Simmer on how heat for a bit longer (10 minutes) for the flavors to blend and for the desired thickness. Cook longer if too soupy or add water if too thick.
This dish is mostly enjoyed sweet and it is served warm, topped with cinnamon and sugar.
Noosh-e jaan azizam
(Bon appetit my hun)