Al Harees is a cherished dish with deep roots in Middle Eastern and South Asian cuisine, particularly popular during Ramadan. This slow-cooked delicacy is crafted from a blend of wheat, meat (usually chicken or lamb), and an aromatic mix of spices, including cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves. The preparation involves simmering these ingredients for several hours until they meld into a creamy, porridge-like consistency. Historically, Al Harees dates back centuries, originating in the Arabian Peninsula and spreading across regions influenced by Arab and Islamic cultures. Originally enjoyed as a celebratory dish during weddings and festivals, it has become synonymous with the communal spirit and culinary traditions of Ramadan, symbolizing unity, generosity, and the joy of sharing meals with loved ones.


- 1 cup cracked wheat (bulgur)

- 1 pound chicken or lamb, cut into pieces

- 4 cups water

- 1 teaspoon salt

- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves


1. Rinse the cracked wheat thoroughly under cold water and drain.

2. In a large pot, combine the cracked wheat, chicken or lamb pieces, water, salt, cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves.

3. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat.

4. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 2-3 hours, or until the mixture is thick and creamy, and the meat is tender.

5. If the mixture becomes too thick during cooking, add more water as needed.

6. Once cooked, adjust the seasoning to taste, and serve hot.

This recipe offers a straightforward approach to preparing Al Harees, ensuring a delicious and comforting dish that's perfect for Ramadan or any special occasion.

Nutrition Value:

1. 1 cup cracked wheat (bulgur):

- Calories: Approximately 150 kcal

- Carbohydrates: Approximately 34 grams

- Protein: Approximately 6 grams

- Fat: Approximately 1 gram

- Fiber: Approximately 8 grams

- Vitamins and Minerals: Contains significant amounts of manganese, magnesium, iron, and vitamin B6.

- Nutritional Benefits: High in fiber, which aids in digestion and promotes satiety. Also rich in minerals essential for bone health and energy metabolism.

2. 1 pound chicken or lamb, cut into pieces:

- Calories: Approximately 700-800 kcal (varies depending on type and cut of meat)

- Protein: Approximately 100 grams

- Fat: Approximately 30-50 grams (varies depending on type and cut of meat)

- Cholesterol: Varies depending on type of meat

- Vitamins and Minerals: Rich in protein, iron, zinc, and B vitamins (especially B12).

- Nutritional Benefits: Excellent source of high-quality protein, essential for muscle repair and growth. Also provides essential vitamins and minerals necessary for overall health.

3. 4 cups water:

- Calories: 0 kcal

- Nutritional Benefits: Hydration is essential for overall health and bodily functions. Water helps regulate body temperature, aids in digestion, and supports nutrient transport throughout the body.

4. 1 teaspoon salt:

- Sodium: Approximately 2300 mg (varies depending on type of salt)

- Nutritional Benefits: While sodium is essential for maintaining fluid balance and nerve function, excessive consumption can lead to high blood pressure and other health issues. Moderation is key.

5. 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom:

- Nutritional Benefits: Cardamom contains antioxidants and has been linked to potential anti-inflammatory and digestive benefits. It also adds a delightful flavor to dishes.

6. 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon:

- Nutritional Benefits: Cinnamon is rich in antioxidants and has been studied for its potential to lower blood sugar levels and improve heart health. It adds warmth and sweetness to dishes.

7. 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves:

- Nutritional Benefits: Cloves are rich in antioxidants and have been traditionally used for their potential anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. They add a distinct, aromatic flavor to dishes.

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