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Harira – Moroccan Chickpea Soup (African) August 10, 2010

Posted by andrewescott in Recipes.
Tags: , , , ,

The African country that this soup comes from is Morocco. Harira is a well-known soup from that region, featuring lentils, chickpeas and lamb, that is traditionally eaten during Ramadan to break the daily fast.

This recipe is based on one by Robert Carrier, a British chef who lived in Morocco.


500g lamb, diced into 1cm cubes
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
400g tin chickpeas
400g tin lentils
1 large brown onion
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon saffron strands (about 0.4g)
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1.5 litres water
50g butter
100g long-grain rice
850mL water (for the rice)
4 tablespoons fresh coriander
4 tablespoons fresh flatleaf parsley
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
2 lemons


Chop the onion finely, and dice the lamb (if not done already). Drain and rinse the lentils and chickpeas.

Heat the oil in large pot or saucepan, and lightly braise the lamb. Then add in the chickpeas, lentils, onion, turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, saffron, paprika and mix well. Lastly, pour in the water and season generously with the salt and pepper.

Bring to the boil and skim off the surface froth when the water begins bubbling. Stir in half of the butter, and turn down the heat to a simmer. Cover, and stirring occasionally, let it cook for about two hours.

Half an hour before the soup base has finished, prepare the rice. Bring some water to a boil in a small saucepan, then shower in the rice, and add the remaining butter. Stir regularly to prevent the rice sticking to the pan. Cook until the rice is soft.

Drain the rice (set it aside for now), reserving 3 tablespoons of the liquid. Coarsely chop the coriander and parsley.

Place the reserved liquid, coriander, parsley and tomatoes in the small saucepan, and simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Into the soup base, stir in the rice and the tomato mixture. Season with more salt if necessary.

Pour soup into bowls, with a slice of lemon for each serving to allow the guest to squeeze in juice to their taste.

Serves 8.



1. African « Melbourne Recipe Club - August 10, 2010

[…] Harira – Moroccan Chickpea Soup (African) « Melbourne Recipe Club – August 10, […]

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