Hey folks, I’m back with yet another mandatory dish which has been passed down from generations in our home. This is simply a breakfast dish which is healthy and fulfilling though it need some effort. This is a world renowned dish which has occupied its place in the world cuisine map. This is nothing but Haleem/Harees/ Alsa or Alisa as we call it.
I had shared with you all the traditional Hyderabadi Haleem few months back. Though the basic cooking process is the same, this is completely different in the second stage. Harees, as called in the land of origin of this dish, is a simple method where whole cracked wheat and meat is cooked to very tender soft. The meat is then separated from the bone and grinded to coarse paste along with the cooked meat adding just salt. This is then served in big round trays along with ghee and sugar. Those who prefer to eat it with sugar can add sugar and ghee and have it.
We Indians want loads of flavors in everything we eat. Hyderabadi haleem is one such version. In our part of India, the basic Harees is made as made by Arabs and then consumed with either chicken, meat or fish curry which is not a preferred version for me. Today’s recipe edition is a version which I have seen in some parts of central part of Kerala. As both my ancestors were from this part, this has been the way of cooking this dish in our family.
The recipe I share is my version without meat and is very good for a healthy filling breakfast. The advantage is that we can prepare this in advance and keep. Since getting back to profession, my days have become hectic. I start my day very early in the morning along with my family members, I felt the need to keep us all energetic and with a filled stomach to carry out our duties all through the day. This is one recipe, I thought, will do justice to this idea. Moreover it can be prepared in advance and packed in the tiffins too. I hope you all will find it helpful too.
Coming to this dish, Whole cracked wheat is a food with all loads of nutrients. This wheat is also know as Bulgar wheat which is a much better source of vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and phytonutrients. Cracked wheat is just what it sounds like: the cracked berries of whole wheat. The distinctively nutty food is versatile, low in calories and loaded with nutrients. You can find cracked wheat in the bulk foods section of most grocery stores. If you do not have a bulk foods department, look for it near the other grains and rice.
Whole grain foods, including cracked wheat, contribute to maintaining a healthy body weight. In a study done by Harvard Medical School, researchers concluded women who made whole grains a regular part of their diet had consistently lower weights than women who did not eat whole grains. The women who ate whole grains were also far less likely to have an increase in weight than those who ate refined grains. So ladies I’m sure you would be interested in this recipe.
New research confirms that refined grains, like white rice, pasta or breads, are linked to increased rates of metabolic syndrome, a predictor of both cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Metabolic syndrome is far more common in people who eat refined grains instead of whole grains. Cracked wheat and other whole grains decrease the rate of metabolic syndrome when added to a daily diet.
Cracked wheat and other whole grains are good sources of magnesium. This mineral is essential to more than 300 enzymes, especially those that contribute to insulin secretion and the release of glucose into the bloodstream. The risk of developing type 2 diabetes can be up to 30 percent lower in people who consume cracked wheat and other whole grains regularly.
Eating at least one serving of whole grains such as cracked wheat every day lowers the risk of high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure by as much as 21 percent. Making whole grains a regular part of your diet can slow the progression of atherosclerosis, a condition that narrows the blood vessels. Whole grains can also reduce the development of stenosis, a condition that narrows the heart’s arterial passageways. In a 20-year study conducted by Harvard Medical School, researchers found that consuming whole grains each morning for breakfast can significantly lower the risk of heart failure.
A diet rich in whole grains is high in fiber, a nutrient that offers significant protection against breast cancer. Pre-menopausal women who get enough fiber each day from sources like cracked wheat and other whole grains have a risk of breast cancer 52 percent lower than that of women who do not get enough fiber each day. While fiber from fruits is protective, fiber from whole grains has the greatest effect on breast cancer prevention.
I’m sure this will break the myth of the amount of carbs taken in when having wheat. This dish is considered to be a rich dish and people think it increases cholestrol and creates other health hazards. Any dish can be turned into a healthy dish with a little thoughtfullness. I have omitted the meat part in this and I dont find any difference in the taste factor. Two tablespoon of ghee is the only fat added to this dish, which is needed for our body. (http://simiskitchendiaries.
The consistency of the porridge can adjusted to one’s own personal preference. We prefer a moist gooey texture but a set version. This is mildly sweetened version with raw sugar. You can substitute it with coconut sugar, agave syrup, raw honey, stevia or molasses syrup. If you feel like having a sweeter version, please increase the quantity of sugar.
I have done the garnishing in three ways. 2 ways of traditional garnishes and a vegan healthy way. So those who prefer to avoid ghee completely can go in for this version and do let me know how you liked the dish and what changes you made to this for making it more healthier.
Soak the wheat in water overnight or for 5 hours. Pressure cook in 2 ltrs of water for 20 minutes.
Mash/blend coarsely with some chunks. Transfer to a non stick or heavy bottomed pan.
Keep on medium flame and add the second extract of milk. Stir to combine and boil for 5 minutes
Add sugar and salt and keep stirring often. Reduce till all the water is absorbed and thick.
Add the first extract of coconut and simmer down to thick porridge consistency.
Golden fry the shallots, Cashews and raisins separately and pour over the porridge.
If you prefer the vegan and more healthy way, sprinkle the flax seed powder and cinnamon powder. Top with flaked almonds and pistachios.
Serve hot or cold .