Chicken & Couscous Haleem

That is exactly how I felt Sunday night after a whole weekend of non-stop moving boxes, unpacking, organizing, & eating too many take-outs! 
And learned –  never to move to a third floor. My legs are not happy at all. But I think the view and nearby park somewhat compensates for that.
I was very exhausted both mentally & physically & all I wanted was to dive into home-cooked, hearty soup. One of my friend suggested Haleem, a thick beef stew popular among Pakistani, Bengali, Indian, Arabic and Persian cuisine. 
Traditionally, the stew is slow cooked with meat, lentils, and broken wheat but it may vary from one region to another.
For a Haleem newbie, it was just everything a sick-of-take-out soul needed – one pot dish, slow cooked, full of both carbohydrate & protein and big on flavor. 
I referred few online recipes and used ingredients that I had available at home.  
Chicken & Couscous Haleem
Makes about 4 servings
1/4 cup yellow split peas, dry
1/4 cup orange split peas, dry
1/2 cup couscous, uncooked ( I used this)
1 chicken breast, cubed
1 medium onion, sliced
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
3-4 tablespoon Haleem masala ( I used this)
2-3 teaspoon red chili powder
2-3 tablespoon cooking oil 
salt, as desired
 For garnish
 sliced ginger, fried onions, chopped cilantro, chopped green chili, chaat masala
-In a pressure cooker, boil both yellow and orange split peas for 20 minutes until they are very soft.
-Cook couscous based on instructions from the box.
-Mix split peas and couscous and puree them together.
-Heat a medium pan, add 1 tablespoon oil and fry onions until they are slightly brown. Remove from heat and keep aside.
-In the same pan, add 1-2 tablespoon oil and add garlic, ginger and chicken. Add 2 tablespoon Haleem masala and 2 teaspoon chili powder and fry them together for 8-10 minutes. Add 3/4 of fried onions to the mix and stir everything. 
-Transfer the chicken mixture to the pressure cooker along with split peas & couscous. Add water, remaining Haleem masala & red chili powder. (I eyeballed the amount of water that I added to the pressure cooker and continued adding more until the chicken & split peas were very soft and mushy) 
-Reduce the heat and allow it to simmer for about 35-40 minutes or until it reaches a thick consistency and chicken,split peas & couscous are pureed well together.
-Garnish it and serve hot. 
I ate the stew by itself but I think it goes well with plain white rice or naan bread too. 


  1. says

    We are huge fans of haleem (and are Shan mix devotees!) :) Love the addition of couscous to this. The last time I made it, I added extra wheat and it was fantastic. I’ll have to try your couscous version next time. Congrats on the new place :)

  2. says

    Haleem..I’ve never heard of it but sure sounds delicious! I’ve yet to encounter a one-pot dish that I didn’t like 😉 I didn’t realize there are so many different kinds of masala. I can just picture myself enjoying pieces of naan that’s soaked up the liquid gold hehe

    • says

      It turned out pretty delicious and since its one pot dish, it had alot of flavor and rich texture which will perfectly go with the naan. there are several kinds of masalas, its almost overwhelming sometimes at the Indian grocery store spices aisle.

  3. says

    LOVE that view!!! Vishnu and I are determined to make sure our next home has an amazing view. It makes up for so many other things!

    And I think Vishnu would love this dish. It sounds and looks delicious!

    • says

      I chose that place primarily because of the view because its just relaxing to sit outside, drink after a long day. The dish is delicious and since its one pot dish, you can freeze it and reheat it for later use :)

  4. says

    Awesome view- definitely worth the 3 floor climb ;)! This dish sounds like the perfect comfort food in this cold weather- so hearty! The only thing I would think to add is chickpeas- love them with cous cous!

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