Slow-Carb Instant Pot Indian Recipe: Authentic Hyderabadi Haleem

Haleem - slow carb recipe

Today’s post comes to us from a reader from India! I personally love Indian food, and this looks super delicious. I haven’t made it yet, but when I do I’ll report on it. Note: I’ve made some modifications with the author’s permission from the original to make some ingredients more accessible in North America.

Most states in India have their own versions of Haleem. Some famous variants being Harees and Khichda. The key difference often lays in the consistency of the stew and the spice mix. The Hyderabadi Haleem in similar fashion has a unique blend of spices that set it apart from other not-so-celebrated variants of the dish.

Besides the delicious Hyderabadi biryani, the Indian state is also widely known for this nutrient-dense recipe called ‘Haleem’. Haleem is basically a rich stew composed of mutton (lamb), lentils and beans slow-cooked in ghee and a lot of spices.

This delicacy is especially enjoyed in the holy month of Ramadan all across the country. So much so, you’ll find Haleem stalls every ten feet on a busy Iftar street. A perfect blend of highly nutritious ingredients make it the right food after almost 15 hours of fasting.

Haleem is often viewed as a heavy meal owing to the generous amounts of ghee that goes into it. Although this modification reduces the creaminess of the dish, the flavours remain intact. Haleem turns out best when it is slow cooked in a pressure cooker for hours. Traditionally, it can take as long as 8 hours of cooking to give the stew that mushy consistency. But hey! Don’t leave yet, we’ve got enough appliances at our disposal to make things easier. So, unless you’re not chasing utmost perfection, you should be able to replicate the recipe in your kitchen just fine within an hour of cooking.


Slow-Carb Instant Pot Indian Recipe: Authentic Hyderabadi Haleem
Recipe type: legumes, dinner
Cuisine: Indian
Haleem is basically a rich stew composed of mutton, lentils and beans slow-cooked in ghee and a lot of spices.
  • 3 Tbsp Ghee
  • 4 to 5 cashews
  • 2 finely sliced onions
  • 1 lb of mutton (boneless) - if lamb is out of reach, this can be done with beef or chicken as well
  • 4 cups of water
  • ½ c chickpeas (Chana Dal)
  • ½ c red lentil (Masoor Dal)
  • ½ c split pigeon pea (Arhar Dal)
  • ½ c black lentil (Urad Dal)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 2 teaspoon garam masala
  • Salt to taste
  • For garnishing:
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • ¼ cup Julienned ginger
  • Finely chopped green chillies
  • Freshly chopped cilantro
  • Lemon wedge
  1. Transfer all your lentils in a bowl and rinse thoroughly. Fill the bowl with water and leave the lentils to soak for about 5-6 hours.
  2. Turn on the Instant pot on Sauté mode and add ghee when the pot is hot.
  3. Add sliced onions and cashews into the ghee and fry them until they turn brown. 8 to 10 minutes are enough to get them crisp and caramelised.
  4. Set aside half the fried onions and all of the cashews for garnishing.
  5. To the remaining onions, add a heaping tablespoon of ginger and garlic paste. Stir until the raw pungent smell of the ginger goes away.
  6. To the pot, add the mutton and all soaked lentils alongside 4 cups of water, 2 tsp cumin powder, 2 tsp coriander powder, 1 tsp chilli powder, salt, turmeric and a tsp of garam masala powder.
  7. Stir everything well and set the instant pot on high pressure for 30 minutes.
  8. After 30 minutes, let the instant pot sit pressurised for 10 minutes, then manually release the remaining pressure.
  9. Open the lid and check if the lentils are soft/mushy and the mutton is tender. If not, use a hand blender to mix everything up into a thick stew.
  10. Add another teaspoon of garam masala at this point and give it a stir.
  11. Serve hot with a tsp of ghee, a pinch of garam masala, julienned ginger, chopped green chilies, chopped cilantro and previously fried onions and cashews. Some lemon juice out of a wedge takes it to another level.
If you can't get each of the identified legumes, you can use a collection of what you have available. The color might not match perfectly, but as long as you have 2 cups of legumes you'll get the nutrition. The spices are really what make the flavor anyway.

You can actively take measures to tenderize the mutton. One easy method of achieving this is to treat the mutton with raw papaya or papaya leaves. These contain an enzyme called papain that is known for breaking down connective tissue when kept in contact with raw meat. You can set aside the mutton with sliced raw papaya pieces for half an hour before starting the actual cooking. This will result in soft and tender pieces of meat in your Haleem.


Meal planning is one of the best ways to make sure you are following your diet plan, but it can take time. If you’re interested, take a few minutes to check out my slow-carb meal planner! Lots of people have had great success with it. Why not give it a shot for $2?

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  1. The recipe includes a total of 1 cup of legumes, but the note after the recipe states that 2 cups of total legumes are needed. Which is correct? Thanks!

    • Hey Jennie – good call, thanks for catching that! The original recipe had 1/2 c of 4 different legumes, so I probably just flubbed it up in translation. I’ll adjust the recipe.


  2. Thanks for this carb recipe its helping me alot

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