Al Harees

Al Harees

By Food E Fare

Al Harees is a traditional dish that is popular in the Arab Gulf countries, particularly during the holy month of Ramadan and festive occasions. It is considered a staple in the cuisine of the region and has deep cultural roots. Al Harees is a savory dish made with simple ingredients, primarily wheat, meat, and a pinch of salt. The preparation of Al Harees is unique, involving slow cooking for an extended period. The dish is traditionally cooked in a special clay pot called a "gano," which is sealed with a mixture of dough to create a pressure-cooker-like environment. This slow-cooking method allows the ingredients to meld together, resulting in a smooth and creamy consistency. The dish is a symbol of unity and is shared with others, emphasizing the spirit of togetherness and generosity, especially during festive and religious occasions. Here's a basic overview of how Al Harees is made:


  • 1 kg meat (typically chicken or lamb, bone-in)
  • 1 kg whole wheat grains
  • Salt, to taste


Wash the Wheat:

  • Rinse the whole wheat grains thoroughly under cold water.

Soak the Wheat:

  • Place the washed wheat in a large bowl and soak it in water overnight. This helps soften the wheat for cooking.

Prepare the Meat:

  • Clean and wash the meat (chicken or lamb) and cut it into pieces. You can use bone-in meat for added flavor.

Combine Ingredients:

  • In a large cooking pot or the traditional clay pot (gano), combine the soaked wheat, meat pieces, and salt to taste.

Slow Cooking:

  • Seal the pot with a dough made from flour and water. This ensures a tight seal, creating a pressure-cooker effect.
  • Cook the mixture slowly over low heat or in an underground oven (a tradition in some areas) for an extended period, often overnight. The slow cooking allows the wheat and meat to break down and create a smooth, porridge-like consistency.

Check for Doneness:

  • Al Harees is ready when the wheat and meat have fully cooked, and the mixture has a creamy texture. The meat should be tender and easily separated from the bone.


  • Al Harees is traditionally served hot. The dish is often garnished with ghee (clarified butter) before serving for added richness.

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