Subz khichda

Vegetable haleem


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Lands of the Curry Leaf

Lands of the Curry Leaf

By Peter Kuruvita

Published 2018

  • About

In the traditional haleem, the primary ingredient along with ground wheat is mutton. However, in a vegetarian haleem, you can replace the meat component with tempeh or soya nuggets and extra vegetables.

Preparation 15 minutes + 1 hour soaking
Cooking 20 minutes


  • tablespoons cracked wheat
  • 100 g ( oz/½ cup) pearl barley
  • 100 g ( oz) soya nuggets, or 100 g ( oz) frozen tempeh (see tip), thawed and chopped into 2 cm (¾ inch) cubes
  • 2 tablespoons rice bran oil
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 dried figs, diced
  • 2 dried apricots, diced
  • 260 g ( oz/1 cup) Greek-style yoghurt
  • 3 tablespoons almond meal
  • a pinch of ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped mint
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped coriander (cilantro)
  • juice of 1 lemon

To Garnish

  • 2 tablespoons fried onion
  • coriander (cilantro) sprigs


Soak the cracked wheat and barley in a bowl of water for 1 hour.

If using soya nuggets, soak them in a bowl of water for 20 minutes, until they expand. Drain them, then place in a blender and grind into large crumbs. Set aside.

Heat the rice bran oil and ghee in a large heavy-based saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and cook over medium heat for a few minutes, or until the onion is translucent.

Stir in the turmeric, chilli powder, ground coriander, cumin and cinnamon, mixing well.

Drain the cracked wheat and barley and add them to the pan, along with the ground soya nuggets or the tempeh. Stir well and cook for a further 5 minutes, or until the protein is thoroughly coated in the spices. Add the dried figs and apricots.

Pour in enough water to cover the mixture and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, then cover and simmer for 8–10 minutes, or until the grains are tender.

Remove the lid and add the yoghurt, almond meal, cloves, Kashmiri chilli powder, mint, coriander and lemon juice, mixing well.

Bring back to the boil and season to taste. Garnish with fried onion and coriander sprigs and serve with rice or a bread of your choice.