This is a guest post written by Amir Azari of Foomies, a new online community that brings people together for home-cooked meals. We love what they’re building and we asked Amir to tell us about one of his favorite foods:
The holiday season always resonates well with people, perhaps because the holidays mean time to travel, time to spend time with family, and time to eat! Thanksgiving is behind us, but all that leftover turkey is perfect for making a favorite Middle Eastern dish traditionally enjoyed for breakfast. I’m talking about is called “halim,” a dish I first enjoyed while traveling across Iran six years ago.
Halim has an oatmeal-like consistency, but unlike oatmeal, halim tastes different every time you have the stuff. I came to realize the reason for this was that every cook makes the dish differently depending on regional preferences and the kind of meat and spices accessible to the cook.
The one constant is that halim is always made with a wheat and meat base. The meat could be beef, lamb, chicken or turkey. The wheat is first cooked and then shredded meat is added. The pot is left to slow cook for several hours until the meat has almost dissolved. Spices are added and the halim is left to simmer a bit longer before being served.
Most people I’ve encountered like their halim with a slice of butter on top, a healthy dose of cinnamon, and brown sugar to taste. Click here for the recipe.
Shortly after returning from my trip I started having cravings for halim, but it was rare for me to have enough leftover meat on hand to warrant making a batch. So it began five Thanksgivings ago, a tradition to turn my leftover turkey into halim! I spend the Friday after Thanksgiving each year preparing the dish, once everything is in place I transfer the contents of my pot to my slow-cooker where I let it do its magic in time for Saturday morning breakfast. It’s a hearty meal, inexpensive to make and always a nice reminder of the good times I had eating halim from street vendors while traveling across Iran.
– Amir Azari