Instant Pot Chicken Haleem is a quick, nutritious, and delicious stew with chicken, lentils, and grains.
Haleem, a quintessential comfort food from the Indian sub-continent is made by using a mix of grains, lentils, and meat such as mutton, chicken, or beef. It is typically slow cooked for hours until everything cooks down to a paste-like consistency. I had my 1st haleem in Chicago and ever since then, I look forward to it particularly in winter months. I made chicken haleem using different mix of lentils and oats two years ago which is still a staple but I discovered a much lazier approach using my instant pot & pre-made haleem mix with spices, lentils, and grains. The result was phenomenal so I quickly jotted down the instructions and took a picture so we all could all enjoy Instant Pot Chicken Haleem in many winters to come.
Traditional haleem recipe calls for a lot of spices and unless you have a well-stocked pantry with Indian spices, you will appreciate the Shan Easy Cook Haleem Mix. I loosely followed the directions on the back of the package but adjusted the ingredients (oil & type of meat) and the cooking method.
If you don’t have an instant pot, pressure cooker is a great option. If you have neither of these appliances, you can use a heavy bottom stock pot, just be mindful that your cooking time will be longer compared to pressure cooking.
Instant Pot Chicken Haleem
2 tablespoon neutral oil such as canola, avocado, sunflower
1 large onion, finely sliced
about 1 lb skinless, chicken breast, cut into cubes (may use chicken thigh or other meat - goat, lamb, beef)
1 packet Shan Easy Cook Haleem Mix
6 cups water
salt, to taste
Garnish: fried onion, chaat masala, thinly sliced ginger, finely chopped green chili pepper, chopped cilantro
Turn your instant pot to saute setting and add oil in the pot.
Add sliced onion and saute until translucent for few minutes, then add chicken breast in the pot.
Let it saute for a couple of minutes, then add the Shan Easy Cook Haleem Mix along with 6 cups water. Season with 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir everything and close the lid. Turn the setting from saute to manual for 30 minutes.
Let the pressure naturally release, which takes additional 15-20 minutes. Open the lid and use an immersion blender to puree the meat and grains together until it forms a thick stew. Adjust the salt as needed.
Serve it hot with garnish of your choice. It can be served by itself, with naan or rice.
If using pressure cooker : follow the same instructions as above but cook until it whistles 3-4 times. Also, depending on the size of your pressure cooker, you may need to adjust the amount of water and other ingredients.
For stovetop cooking, you can follow the same instructions as above but cook in low-medium heat until chicken, grains, and lentils are fully cooked. It will probably take 35-40 minutes.
I keep a bag of fried onions in my fridge, which I purchase from an Indian grocery store. You can fry sliced onions separately for garnish.
Haleem will last for a couple of days in fridge and reheats really well. When reheating, may need to add ¼ cup of water or so to loosen the consistency.
Once fully cooled, you can also freeze haleem in individual containers or a bag then, used at a later time. Simply let it thaw and reheat in microwave or stove up.