I leant upon a coppice gate,

When Frost was spectre-gray,

And Winter’s dregs made desolate

The weakening eye of day.

The tangled bine-stems scored the sky

Like strings of broken lyres,

And all mankind that haunted nigh

Had sought their household fires

Thomas Hardy, ‘The Darkling Thrush

Welcome to 2021, just like every other year the daylight reaches us way past morning as we hang onto the warmth and coziness of the bed. January has always been a month of trying new resolutions, keeping off alcohol, eating healthy and a bit of exercise. As our planet completes another loop around the Sun; we too take the opportunity to think new and reset.  

Alas it’s not a normal year, neither is it a normal winter. We are ordered to stay home a little longer and as the bottles in Memsahib Gin and Tea Bar collect a coat of dust we think of you, our customers and the good times of mingling, raising a toast and tiddly Saturday evening gossip with a gin and tonic and a beautiful dinner out. 

As the light at the end of winter tunnel becomes a bit more luminous with the jabbing we wish you well and hope this winter warmer favorite of ours can help you little towards the warmth or Easter. 

Let us introduce Hayderabadi Haleem, a much loved dish across Indian sub continent and among travelling Memsahibs. The root of the dish can be traced back as far as 10th century Persia where this energy filled semi soup, semi stew consistency porridge would be offered to labourers to keep them energy filled for long days of work. As it travelled through Indian continent and all the way to Bengal it has been adapted by various tribes sometimes as breakfast, lunch and a staple for breaking fast in the evening during ramadan. We love this mouth salivating, tummy crunching, flatbread dipping mouthful of heaven in a cold wintery evening which not only fills the belly but brings that extra little warmth in our heart and we sincerely hope it does to your too.

Hyderabadi Haleem

Preparation:  20 minutes

Cook: 190 minutes

Serves 8

Grain Mix

Wheat (roasted) 50g
Barley (roasted) 50g 
Split yellow pea 50g
Split Moong Beans 50g 
Skinless black gram 50g
Red lentil 50g
Semolina 25g

(Soak the grains for 1.5- 2 hours in 10 cups of water)

To Cook

Beef or lamb 500 – 700g 
Bones 200-300g 
Cooking onion 2 medium (sliced) 
Ghee 100g 
Rapeseed Oil 100ml 
Bay leaf 2-3 
Clove 6-8
Cinnamon stick 2-3 inch
Cardamom 7-8 (split before adding)

Garlic & ginger paste 1TBSP

Garam masala 10g
Memsahib Haleem mix 50g

(Red Chilli, Salt, Coriander, Turmeric, Roasted Cumin powder, Black pepper, Mace, Cardamom,, Paprika, Curry leaf, Nigella, Dehydrated onion, Dried papaya powder, Cane Sugar) 


  1. Heat oil & ghee in a large saucepan then add cinnamon, cardamom, bay leaf and clove. Stir till the spices release aroma. 
  2. Add onion and sauté till golden brown. Add garlic and ginger paste; fry till the raw flavour goes away. 
  3. Now put all the meat and bone into the pan and fry on high heat for a couple of minutes. Turn down the heat to medium and fry till the oil comes up on top. You can add a little bit of water into this process so the spices are blended well with the meat.  
  4. Drain the water from the grain mix then add to the pan.  Mix really well. 
  5. Now add 7-8 cups of warm water into the pan. Cook it in medium heat. At this stage stir frequently so mix and don’t stick to the bottom of the pan. 
  6. Turn down the heat & cook for 2-3 hours till the gravy becomes thick. 
  7. If the grain sizes are still too large it is advisable to separate the meat and use a hand blender to blend them (Careful not to blend too much or it will turn into a thick paste)
  8. Garnish with chopped ginger, coriander, fried onion, chaat masala, lime juice and green chillies. 
  9. Serve with Naan or Paratha bread.


  • Use a heavy bottom pan to cook meat
  • Use a slow cooker for cooking grains
  • Blend the grain a bit more for smoother consistency 
  • Add a handful of rice if you would like the stew a bit starchy