For our Ramadan recipe today, we are going to Morocco with the traditional Iftar recipe – Harira. This is a Harira soup recipe with lamb. It is loaded with lentils, chickpeas, tomatoes and spices. It’s a perfect winter and summer recipe when you want to feel comfort with a bowl of soup.
Please see video at the end of post for all recipe steps
Ramadan, my favourite time of the year (yes, really!) is here, and I’m trying to make the most of it. Self-improvement and a deeper connection with God are the main aims of Ramadan. Charity is a big component, which includes feeding the less fortunate. It is also a time to renew your ties with family, friends and neighbours. Encourage people to come over for a meal, breaking fast together. Interacting with more people on the street, or at prayers. Smiling at someone is a form of charity in Islam, and Ramadan is the perfect time to manifest this habit. I love the sense of peace we feel around this time.
Today’s Ramadan recipe hails from kaleidoscopic Morocco. I haven’t had the opportunity to visit Morocco yet, but it’s been on the top of my list – to experience the mountains, palaces, myriad mosques, oldest existing university, the markets and most importantly, the food!
While in Saudi Arabia, I would be surprised that I could barely understand a word of Arabic spoken by the few Moroccans I met. The accent is so different! Or they solely spoke in French. It fascinated me. I ate some tagine dishes and dips, but Moroccan food isn’t that widely available in Saudi Arabia – which is also surprising to me, since you get so many other cuisines there.
So last Ramadan, I was looking for healthy soups to make for Ramadan that would last me a while, and I stumbled across Harira. The essential ingredients are lamb, lentils, tomatoes, spices and chickpeas. I have had similar soups before of the ‘shorba’ variety. Shorba translates to soup in Arabic, and you find shorba in the Indian-subcontinent as well, so it might be Persian in origin (or taken from Arabic), I’m not really sure.
I found harira to be a highly satiating meal. Full of protein, fibre and vitamins, it is an ideal dish to have during Ramadan. Harira is enhanced with the addition of a beaten egg – reminding one of a decadent egg drop soup. It’s not spicy (as in hot) but it certainly uses characteristically north African spices like cinnamon and saffron (used sparingly of course). I make a large batch and have it during the first week of Ramadan (that’s what I’ve done this year as well) and I’m excited to share this recipe with you!
You can also make this vegetarian by omitting the meat!
I hope you enjoy making this, thanking your tummy in the process. Happy wife gut = happy life. Ok ok, happy wife = happy life too. Just that I’m not a wife yet, so I can’t have someone attest to that statement.
Harira is a Moroccan soup loaded with tomatoes lentils, meat, chickpeas and spices. It is traditionally eaten during Ramadan since it is healthy and filling.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 celery stalk, diced
- 200 grams lamb pieces
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- 1.2 tsp black pepper
- pinch of saffron
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 cup lentils (soaked in water for 15 minutes and drained)
- 1 can (400 grams) canned, chopped tomatoes
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
- 2 tbsp chopped coriander (cilantro)
- 1 cup canned chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
- 6 cups water
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp flour (dissolved in 2 tbsp water)
Heat oil in pot and saute onions and celery 2 minutes.
Brown meat and add all the ground spices (cumin, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, saffron, salt and black pepper). Cook 2 minutes.
Add lentils and stir well.
Add 4 cups water, cover and cook on medium heat for 30 minutes.
Uncover, add canned tomatoes, tomato paste, bay leaf and 2 cups water.
Add chopped parsley and coriander.
Cover, lower heat and cook 15 minutes.
Add chickpeas and flour mixture to thicken soup.
Beat egg and drizzle into soup. Stir well.
Simmer for 5 more minutes and serve with bread and dates (optional).
How to make Moroccan Harira Soup
If you like this recipe, you may also like Basteeya – Moroccan Chicken Pie!