CHEF and blogger Paul James writes for our paper.
I love it when I’m told about new dishes that I have never heard of by people I bump into.
This was the case when I was picked up in a taxi by a lovely gentleman named ‘Ibrar’ we chatted about the usual things ‘been busy?’ and ‘what time did you start?’ then we got on to the subject of food.
He told me about this dish he had when he was in Pakistan, he said it was one of the best meals he’d tasted…so much so he got his family to make it when he got back home, without success. He said I should give it a try – .and put it in this column so he could read it.
So not one to shirk a challenge I tried to recreate this dish for ‘Ibrar’ so armed with the ingredients that he said was in the dish (I was only going out for bread and milk) I returned home.
As it turned out, my new ‘taxi driver friend’ was right, it was a lovely dish.
As it happened, ‘Ibrar’ picked me up on another trip a few days after and I was pleased to show him the dish that I recreated for him, I was even more pleased that he said it looked identical to the one he had in Pakistan.
Visit recipesfrommytravels.com for more on Paul’s blog and his recipes.
Slow-cooked Haleem (traditional Pakistani beef and lentil stew)
1tsp coriander seeds or powder
1/2tsp cumin seeds or powder
1/4tsp black pepper
1/2tsp of cardamom seeds
1/2tsp nutmeg powder
1 tin of chopped tomatoes and 1 tin of cold water
400g of beef skirt or stewing beef.
100g Red Lentils
100g Chana Dhal
100g Basmati Rice
1 red chilli deseeded, finely sliced for decoration.
Coriander for decoration
1. Add a tbsp of oil to a heating frying pan and add all of the spices until all of the aromatics fill the air (if you are using whole spices, follow this method then grind to a powder and return to the pan)
2. Add the beef and fry to to brown and seal in all of those flavours.
3. Now transfer the beef to a slow cooker or a large stove top cooking pot.
4. Add the tomatoes and water, stir well and cover. Cook for an hour.
5. Then add the lentils, Dhal, rice and oats, stir well cover and cook for about another three hours or until the beef falls apart.
6. Serve with some spiced roasted potatoes.