Iranian Food: Persian Haleem (Wheat and Meat Porridge)

If you have traveled to Iran, in the morning do not hesitate to try Haleem, which is the most famous Iranian breakfast.

The word Haleem comes from the Arabic language meaning shredded meat. Haleem is a very popular food in the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Indian subcontinent. There are many varieties of Haleem based on different regions. Persian Haleem is different from the Haleems served in the Arabic countries, and here is what you need to know about this Persian cuisine.

In the distant past, Haleem was served warm, and it counted as breakfast. So on the long cold nights of winter, the people cooked this food throughout the night. They served it as a hot breakfast to their family members, warming them up for the cold day ahead. 

Nowadays there are Haleem shops all over Iran; those who want Haleem for breakfast, often buy theirs from these shops. It is served year-round and in varieties too.


- 2 cups Barley/wheat germ 1302 Cal

- 4 cups Water

- 300 g Shredded meat (750 Cal)

- 1 Medium-sized onion 41 Cal

- 1 ½ tsp Salt 1 Cal

- ½ tsp Pepper 1 Cal

- 2 cups Whole milk 298 Cal

- 2 tsp Cinnamon 1 Cal

- A generous pinch of sesame seed 52 Cal

- Sugar or salt as desired typically. Haleem is served with sugar and most often than not it’s a sweet dish, but some don’t like it that way, so they add salt


- In a medium pot, add two cups of water, the meat of your choice (beef, lamb, chicken, or turkey), two halves of a medium-sized onion, 1 ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper.

- Turn the heat on low and let it cook overnight

- In another pot, boil the remaining two cups of water and add two cups of wheat germ or barley.

- Let it simmer overnight on very low heat until cooked.

- Strain the broth and shred the meat.

- Mix the shredded meat with cooked barley, pour 2 cups of whole milk into the mix, and let it simmer for thirty to forty minutes. Don’t worry about over-cooking because Halim has a paste-like consistency.

- Once everything is completely cooked, get your trusted blender and blend until you can’t visually tell the ingredients apart.

- For garnish, use cinnamon, sesame seed, and a little bit of shredded meat.

- You can also add a tablespoon of vegetable oil on top if you want an unhealthy but incredibly delicious version of this Halim.

- Mix the garnishes with the Halim and enjoy with bread.


Wheat Haleem is originally bland, and you can season it with salt or sugar and cinnamon. (depending on if you have a sweet tooth or not).

Back in the day, when calorie counting wasn’t a thing, chefs used to make Haleem tasty, the best way they knew how; By using a ton of fat. So if you want a tastier Haleem, you can use oil and cream too.

If you want to make oats Haleem, use oats instead of barley.

If you don’t have milk lying around, but you want Haleem, just don’t add milk, and you will have an equally tasty wheat Haleem.


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