United Arab Emirates – Al Harees

by Adelina Aida

This dish is actually a mixture of many things together in a blended form and seasoned with some spices. The richness of this dish is come up with the main ingredients used in making this dish like all whole grains like porridge, oats, wheat, barley with some legumes. Some lentils are also added. Now the main things to add up in this whole grain mixture is boneless meat.

We have to cook all the things in a soft form and than mix them together into soft liquid curry like consistency so as thin but thick to be sip up easily. Harees can be cooked with Chicken meat, beef meat and with mutton also. Rice is also added to this dish. At the end all the ingredients cooked so well that they assemble together in such a way that it come up like a whole cooked assembled dish.

List of whole grains used in making this dish given below:

  • Porridge
  • Oats
  • Barley
  • Wheat
  • Whole white grams
  • Rice
  • Yellow lentils
  • Red lentils

Now these all whole grain ingredients are hard to cook so we have to soak them over night. Than boiled and mixed with meat gravy.

Varieties of AL HAREES

Al harees can be known by many other names according the different region where they evolved with different flavours like JAREESH, HARISA, HAREES, BOKO BOKO and PORRIDGE PASTE.

The Arabic word ”Harees” mean MASHED or PASTE, so as this dish is a mixture or paste of all things together.

As according to many different regions, every region has its own taste and some different recipes with flavours and taste of that region. The style of cooking and its spices can change the taste of authentic dish but still they are varieties of the same dish.

  • Like HAREESA, is an American dish from Ararat plain.
  • HALEEM, is a dish from Asian countries which has huge varieties of spices in it.
  • JAREESH, is a simple paste of porridge more like a dumpling side.

Harees in Arab cuisine

Al Harees is a traditional authentic dish from the Emirati cuisine or Arab cuisine. It is very popular in the special festivals of Islam like Ramzan, Moharam and Shabrat.


As a American cuisine, it is very mild in flavours and served especially on Easter days. It is more like a thick paste of porridge, usually made in chicken.

Haleem in South Asia like India

This dish must have burst kicking spices with huge amount of oil used in it. This dish is very popular in their region.


This dish is served with many side complementary garnished elements like :

  • Fried onion
  • Green fresh coriander
  • Green chilies
  • Mint leaves
  • Butter
  • Lemon

Cuisine = EMIRATI

Yield = 6 PERSONS

Temperature of serving = HOT

Time of cooking = 2 hours and 30 minutes

Course = Whole meal main course


  • Chicken boneless = 2 lbs
  • oil/ butter = half cup
  • Porridge = 1 cup
  • Barley = half cup
  • Rice = half cup
  • Yellow lentils = 1 cup
  • Wheat grains = half cup
  • Onions = 2
  • Tomato paste = 2 cups


  • Salt = 1 tablespoons
  • Red pepper = 1 tablespoon
  • Thyme = 1/2 teaspoon
  • Oregano = 1 teaspoon
  • Cumin powder = 1 tablespoon
  • Turmeric powder = 1/2 teaspoon


  • Onions = 1
  • Green chilies = 4
  • Coriander leaves = 4 tablespoons
  • Mint leaves = 4 tablespoons
  • Lemon juice / slices


Legume boiling

  • First of all before a day of cooking, soaked all the whole grains and legumes lentils at least for 12 hours.
  • Now on a cooking day, drain of the water and boil them completely.
  • It takes time to cook each grain separately because cooking timing is different for different grain.
  • As we can cook wheat and barley together because they have almost same cooking time.
  • Rice and porridge is easily cooked together.
  • Now when they cooked properly let them cool completely.
  • Take a blender and partially blend these into a semi tough paste like texture.

Chicken cooking

  • Take a cooking pot, add oil with onions into it.
  • With onions add chicken and fry them together for a while so that chicken changes its colour.
  • Add tomato paste and water of about 1 glass with all the seasonings into it.
  • Let the meat cooked for 20 minutes so that chicken shred into small chunks so assembled with grains easily.

Final mixing

  • Take chicken into the gravy and mashed in with spoon. Chicken is so soft so it can shred easily into small pieces.
  • Than add blended lentils mixture and cook them together.
  • Cook them for 20 minutes so the mixture get infused into each other.
  • Fry onion till brown for garnishing, sliced ginger, green chilies, fresh cilantro and served it on the top.
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