During Ramadan there are a lot of places that have started serving Haleem and few outlets that serve Harees as well
Confused as to the difference between them? Read on….
Harees or Harissa: A meat and wheat porridge which is a popular Arab dish traditionally served during Ramadan season and during special occasions like weddings, birthday’s,anniversaries etc.
Process: The meat to wheat ratio is 1:1 and the wheat is boiled before adding, soaked over night or sometimes the wheat is beaten to a paste/pulp form during the making process. Spices used are Cinnamon, Cumin, Cardamom and few others
History of Harees coming to Hyderabad: The Arab soldiers (Mostly from Yemen) who migrated to India to serve in the Nizam’s Army stayed in the barracks area, the name got twisted into what we now know as Barkas. The warrior community called Chaush who were known for their fighting prowess and serving the Nizam as their personal bodyguards were instrumental in bringing this dish to Hyderabad. It used to be served as breakfast & lunch for the people who used to go to battle so that they have strength throughout the day, gradually it found its way to being served at Iftar’s and feasts
Variants: Hyderabad has two versions of Harees,the Khari and the Meethi available. Khari true to its name is bland by Hyderabadi standards and available at majority of the harees outlets and Meethi actually has sugar mixed with it which is available only in the barkas area. Kashmir and few other places also have rice used instead of wheat in making it.
How Harees became Haleem: The bland version of Harees had few additions made to it, Garam masala, Onions, Garlic, Ginger, Red chilli, Coriander, turmeric etc in the spices section , Gram lentils along with 1:3 ratio of wheat to meat i.e 1Kg wheat to 3Kg meat which gives the Haleem its thickness and uniqueness, hence the G.I status
Difference between Harees and Haleem in layman’s terms :
1) Ratio of wheat to meat : 1:1 vs 1:3
2) Taste : Bland vs Spicy
3) Consistency : Semi liquid vs Thick porridge
Common misconception is that if chicken is used for preparation of the dish then it is called Harees. Chicken was actually used in Harees because it was cheaper in price hence affordable by all & lamb became the rich man’s option. All three i.e Chicken, Mutton & Beef can be used in preparation of both Harees and Haleem.
You would find the spicier version of Harees in the market as well i.e all ingredients of Haleem are used in its preparation but with the meat to wheat ratio of Harees.
The word Haleem means Patient and Merciful and the process of making Haleem is lengthy and tiresome so you definitely need to have patience. Few articles online and in the print media state that the name should be Daleem derived from the word Daliya/Daalcha which means porridge instead of Haleem which is one of the names of Allah. Authenticity of such claims are yet to be proven hence individual discretion advised
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