Halim Bademjan (حلیم بادمجان) is one of the famous and delicious dishes in Persian cuisine. Its place of origin is Kermanshah, Isfahan, and Shiraz. However, the word “Halim” is an Arabic term. It means “shredded meat.” Halim is a very famous food in central Asia, especially in India. This dish has gone around Asia and has evolved. So it varies and has several recipes.
Of course, Halim Bademjan is related to this Asia food, but we are going to talk about the one with origin in Iran, as mentioned above. Halim Bademjan is one of the most challenging foods which lasts many hours and takes too energy to be prepared and cooked. This dish is mostly served throughout the Islamic holy months of Ramadan and Muharram.
It has high quality in nutrition and an excellent source of carbs, protein, and energy. So it is a proper meal in Ramadan after a long-lasting fast during a day. It should be mentioned that in Iran, people love to serve this meal to their neighbors, or even stranger passing as “Nazri” or “giving out Nazri,” which means free food during Muharram month. Because they believe its difficulties in cooking, it makes their Nazri more worthwhile and meaningful.
Different types of Halim Bademjan:
Halim Bademjan, this traditional and delicious meal varies. You can change it and make a different type of it only by replacing different minerals with the origin once. We can name a list of different kinds of it: milk or wheat Halim, Halim with chicken, Halim with turkey, Halim with beef or lamb.
Important Nutrition facts of Halim Bademjan:
Halim Bademjan is a high value and quality meal. It is an essential source of protein 12.8g per100g, minerals, digestive bacteria, and energy. The amount of sodium mineral is remarkable, with 137mg per 100g. It is also high calories wit 217kcal per3.5 oz (101gr). This is the reason that makes it a good meal for serving on Ramadan days after a prolonged hunger. It should be mentioned again that it can be harmful to diabetics and high cholesterol in the blood.
Serving style of Halim Bademjan:
This Persian Eggplant Halim is served both as a main dish and as an appetizer. People have it as a main dish during a typical day, which has eaten with bread, vegetables, and Persian drink doogh. It also served as an appetizer in some restaurants and some dinner parties.
When you finish the cooking process, pour it into a suitable dish, flatten its surface, or you can make small balls and dress it with caramelized onion, dried crushed mint leave, saffron whey, and slices of walnut and serve it for your guests.
As I mentioned before, there is various type of Halim Bademjan. Different kind of recipe makes different taste for this meal. Although meat is one of the main ingredients of this recipe, you can replace it with “lentils.” So this small change makes this cuisine available for vegetarians and vegans.
What are the Ingredients of Halim Bademjan?
Halim Bademjan varies in its kind between Persian cuisine. But I am going to describe Persian eggplant Halim, the simplest one, here. The main ingredients of Halim Bademjan are rice, shredded meat, eggplant, onion, salt, pepper, turmeric, and another Persian spice mix (Advieh) according to your taste, whey (Kashk), dried mint leaves crushed, saffron and water. All kinds of meat as beef, lamb, chicken, and turkey can be used in cooking this dish, but the best one is the beef neck.
Cooking process of Halim Bademjan:
The recipe of Halim Bademjan is a bit complex. The preparation time for it is almost 1 hour. But its cooking time is 5 hours. First of all, you need to cook your meat. Because it needs more time to be prepared, so you should peel an onion and slice it to fore. Then pour the slices of onion and meat in the pan and add some water, salt, pepper, and turmeric to it. Finely cover the pan with its lid and put it on a medium heat to cook. It needs almost 90 min to be cooked thoroughly.
In the second step, you should prepare the rice. You need to soak it for almost 1 hour after washing it. Then you should boil the water in a medium pot. After boiling water and draining rice water, pour rice to the pot and add some salt to it. Let it cook well as it has fallen apart like cooking the rice in the Sholeh Zard recipe. It almost lasts 45 min up to 1 hour.
You should peel off the washed eggplants and slice them. Then you soak them in salty water for 1 hour. After 1 hour, you must drain it and let them dry completely, and finely, you will fry them. But remember that if you want to have less fat and absorb less oil, you can put them in an oven at 190 c until it cooked or even you can boil them in the pot and until they cook. So you will have more healthy food with less fat.
Finely when you cooked your eggplant with and methods, mash and mix them with an electric masher or if you don`t have one, mash with hand until you have a dough texture.
You need some fried onion some for your mixture and some for decoration, too.
In the end:
you need to grab a large bowl to put all your ingredients including mashed cooked eggplant, crushed rice, chopped cooked meat, fried onion, dried crushed mint leave, brewed saffron, salt, turmeric, pepper, and whey, into it and blend them and mix them with a food processor. Finely pour your combination into a suitable dish, dress, and serve it.
This recipe is adequate for four people. The preparation time is 30 minutes and cooking time is 2 hours. You need to prepare some bread to serve with the food.
- 3 large eggplant
- 2 cups of rice
- 4 cups of water
- 1 lb (453gr) shredded meat
- 3 medium-sized onion
- 1½ tbsp pepper
- 1½ tbsp salt
- 1½ tbsp turmeric
- 2 tbsp saffron brewed
- ½ lb Kashk (whey)
- Dried mint leave, crushed
- Oil required amount
- Peel all the onion and wash and slice them and put aside.
- Gran a medium pot. Pour two cups of water in it. Add your meat, ½ salt, ½ turmeric, ½ pepper, and half of the sliced onion. Cover its lid and put it on a medium flame and let it cook for almost 90min.
- Clean up and wash your rice. Soak it for 1 hour
- Choose another medium-size pot. Pour 2 cups water in it and boil it. Drain the water of soaked rice and add it to the boiling water. Add one teaspoon salt to it, and let it simmer and cook entirely as it gets fallen apart. It also lasts 45min for up to 1 hour.
- Peel and wash the eggplants. Slice them and soak them in the salty water for 1 hour.
- Drain eggplant`s salty water and let them dry completely.
- Pour some oil in the frying pan and let it heat; Fry the eggplants. But if you want them to have less fat and absorb less oil, put them in an oven, boil it in the water or grill them.
- Mash the cooked eggplants with an electric masher or with your hand.
- Fry the other half of the onion, which is needed for adding to the mixture and for dressing.
- Take a big bowl and blend all ingredients, including mashed cooked eggplant, crushed rice, chopped cooked meat, fried onion, dried crushed mint leave, brewed saffron, salt, turmeric, pepper, and whey until the combination gets smooth.
- Put them in a suitable container and flatten its surface with a spoon. You can also make small balls with them and pick them in a platter.
- Dress it with fried caramelized onion, dried crushed mint leave, saffron whey, and slices of walnut
- serve it for your guests and help yourself.
- Remember to serve this meal hot.
- Try to grill or boil the eggplants. Because when you fry it, it absorbs lots of oil, and it will be very harmful to your health.
- When you buy whey, check and smell it. Sometimes it feels and tastes like sheep and ruins your meals taste.