The Ramadan Table..A Little Early {Harira}

In Moroccan Food by Amanda Mouttaki20 Comments

Whew!! I have spent a better part of the weekend working on a little blog makeover.  So…what do you think?  (PS if you say you hate it I will ignore you…just kidding!)  I think my eyes are crossed but I am happy with how things look, although I’m sure to make tweeks as I go.  But seriously I do want to know what you think!

Now that I’m all set up it’s time to get back to posting.  The weather here is still dismal at best and I’ve found myself continuing to make the staples of warm winter comfort food even though deep down I’m craving light, fresh food.  One of these meals is traditionally eaten during Ramadan in Morocco.  I shouldn’t say eaten, I should say consumed in massive quantities.  Even MarocBaba who doesn’t do soup eats this EVERY DAY during Ramadan.  I’m not sure if it’s habit, tradition, or what but he does.  I’ve shared the recipe here before, but I’m re-sharing with images today.

The Table Setting

Looking at this picture again I realize it looks like a copious amount of boiled eggs.  M literally will eat 4 boiled eggs in a sitting, plus I knew whatever was left he’d take to school – the kid is an egg freak.  In the bottom right corner is a plate of dates, a standard accompaniment with harira.  The very small tajine in the upper left is actually a dish that holds spices; salt, pepper, and cumin are on the table for this meal.  Also you can’t see it, but rest assured there was a basket of bread to eat too.

I really love the contrast in this picture.  There is something about brown eggs that just makes me smile.  To my international readers, most eggs in the US are white, not brown.  We buy free-range organic eggs that always come in the brown hues.  Makes them feel much more natural to me.

Finally the harira.  If you want to cook up a batch tonight, here’s my recipe!

Ingredients

  • 1 medium to large onion
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 5-6 tomatoes
  • 1 to 1-½ cups beef, lamb or chicken cubed (optional)
  • 1 handful chopped Italian parsley
  • 1/2 handful chopped cilantro
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • Olive oil
  • 1t Salt
  • 1½t Black Pepper
  • 1T Paprika
  • 1T Turmeric
  • 1 small pinch Saffron crushed (if desired)
  • ½ c garbanzo beans (soaked overnight)
  • ¼ c lentils (washed)
  • 1/2 c Vermicelli pasta (broken to small pieces)
  • 1/2 c Flour
  • 4 cups water
  • Food processor

Directions

  • Heat olive oil in large stockpot.
  • Puree onion and garlic in food processor. Add to pot and sauté.
  • Add meat and brown until almost cooked.
  • Puree tomatoes and add along with another dash of olive oil
  • Either finely chop or puree parsley and cilantro (w/ tomatoes) and add Add salt, pepper, paprika, turmeric (and saffron if desired)
  • Add water and can of tomato paste
  • Add the flour to 1c of water in a seperate bowl, mix and allow to sit while soup is cooking, mix occassionally to seperate any clumps that might occur.
  • Bring the soup to a boil and add lentils and beans
  • Once beans are cooked, add pasta and let simmer
  • When beans are cooked through, begin to stream the flour mixture into the pot. Slowly pour the flour mixture into the soup, all while mixing to ensure it combines. The soup should begin thickening halfway through.
  • The harira should be thick but still have a soup consistecy.

 

Amanda MouttakiThe Ramadan Table..A Little Early {Harira}

Comments

  1. Kesley

    Hi, just wondering if after living in Morocco this recipe might have changed at all since the original time you posted it 3 years ago. It is one of my favorite moroccan dishes and I know there are like a million “recipes” so just wondering if anything had changed?

  2. Pingback: Preparing for Ramadan in Morocco

  3. Pingback: Freezer Meals for a Mom’s Weekend

  4. christi

    Thanks so much for this recipe. Just wondering……Is that something that you could make ahead and freeze? Thanks!

    1. Author
      marocmama

      yes you totally can freeze and reheat it. You may need to add a little more water when you thaw and heat up.

  5. Nutella Love Affair

    Your blog redesign looks great. Very easy to follow and look at as well.

    I Can’t wait for Ramadan this year! And, as an Algerian, I can tell you that North Africans have Harira/Shorba EVERY SINGLE DAY of Ramadan. No joke. We usually make bourak (egg rolls) to accompany it.

    1. marocmama

      Oh I get so tired of eating this every day but I do love it! In Morocco there is usually Briouats filled with minced meat and onions to accompany – oh no now I’m hungry!

  6. Sarah

    Great post! I am looking forward to Ramadan this year.Who would’nt with countless bowls of Harira to eat.
    Do you blanch the skin off the tomato before you blitz it or rape it?Or do you do as i do blitz it skin and all?
    I always feel like i am breaking Harira 101 by doing this.
    What do you think?

    1. Author
      marocmama

      Hey Sarah – I blanch and remove the skin because I don’t like the skin, although I’m sure keeping it in makes it more healthy!

  7. Carolyn

    I think most of the layers in poultry farms are White Leghorns, because they produce more eggs/body weight to feed ratio than the heavy breeds–Rocks, Orpingtons, Brahmans. Because they are small and lay more eggs they fit into those nasty production cages more easily, as well. If chickens free-range they do well outside if they are of a more heavy breed, as they endure in the weather well and can handle the muscle they put on scratching and pecking all over the place. It takes more to feed them during the winter, but they still continue to lay some during the winter, whereas most Leghorns quit laying until Spring.

    1. Author
      marocmama

      This is so interesting! Thank you so much for sharing – I love learning these kinds of things.

  8. Stacy @ Every Little Thing

    The new site looks great! The header is very fitting.

    And I know that it depends on the breed what color you get (lots of my farmer’s market dozens come with green eggs!), but why are most “regular” eggs white and all organic eggs brown/green/speckled, etc? That’s what I want to know!

    1. Author
      marocmama

      Thanks I like it too :) And I think we need to plan an inquisition session into why organic eggs are colorful…a part of me thinks traditional eggs come from cheaper “engineered” chickens that only lay white legs..though that’s could be a bias I have!

  9. Holly S. Warah

    I love this soup but have never made it. I’m going to print your recipe now. Funny, I’m thinking ahead to Ramadan, too. It’s only two and a half months away! BTW, do you do any cooking in a slow cooker? It’s really helpful during Ramadan. I wonder if this soup would work…. (The initial saute steps would be done on stovetop & transfered to the slow cooker.)

    1. Author
      marocmama

      I love my slow cooker but have never tried to make this soup in one. You would have to add the grains at the end or I think they would get clumpy.

  10. Amanda

    Love the look – it’s clean yet still has a Moroccan feel to it!

    If you ask me it’s never too early to think about Ramadan…and I can’t wait to make harira for it. In fact, I wish I had everything on hand tonight so I could make up a batch since it’s cool and gray here in ATL today.

    1. Author
      marocmama

      I agree, I feel the earlier that I plan for Ramadan the easier things are. I like to make lots ahead of time for the freezer so I’m not stressed for iftar after work.

  11. Carolyn

    Thank you so much for saying what goes in the little tagine dishes. Your new website look is lovely, especially your header.

    On another note: Brown eggs only result from a spurt of dye encompassing the egg as it exits the hen’s cloaca–eggs are white, whether free-range or caged. The breed determines the coloring. Orpington’s are almost pink, Araucanas produce green ones, some other heavy breeds produce brown ones.

    I think I will try your harira tonight–it looks delicious.

    1. Author
      marocmama

      Carolyn – thanks for that info! I had no idea – I just thought all my free range eggs are brown and regular eggs always tend to be white at least here where I live there was some correlation there! I need some pink eggs now haha!

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