Harira is a soup traditionally eaten during the holy month of Ramadan to break the daily fast, which begins at dawn and ends at sunset. It’s also served on special occasions, such as the morning after a wedding. Rice and noodles are commonly added to harira to bulk it up and make it suitable for an everyday meal.
- 75 g (½ cup) dried chickpeas
- 40 g butter
- 500 g lamb shoulder, untrimmed, cut into 1 cm pieces
- 2 onions, roughly chopped
- 2 celery stalks, cut into 1 cm pieces
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon, plus extra to serve
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- 1 generous pinch of saffron threads, soaked in 1 tbsp hot water
- 1.2 kg truss tomatoes, peeled, seeded, puréed
- ½ cup roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley, including stalks
- 50 g (⅓ cup) dried green lentils, rinsed, drained
- 2 eggs
- ½ lemon, juiced, plus lemon wedges, to serve
- ⅓ cup finely chopped coriander leaves
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Soaking time overnight
Place chickpeas in a bowl and cover with water. Leave to soak overnight.
Melt butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add lamb, onions, celery, cinnamon, turmeric, ginger and saffron with soaking liquid, and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes or until lamb is browned. Add puréed tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until the mixture has slightly thickened.
Rinse and drain the chickpeas. Add the chickpeas, half the parsley and 1.25 litres water, then bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, partially covered and stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes. Add lentils and cook for a further 45 minutes or until lentils and chickpeas are tender.
Meanwhile, whisk together eggs and lemon juice. Add egg mixture and remaining parsley to harira and stir to combine; the eggs will form small white strands. Remove harira from heat and season.
Divide harira among bowls, scatter over coriander and sprinkle with cinnamon to taste. Serve immediately with lemon wedges to squeeze over.
Photography by Anson Smart.
As seen in Feast magazine, October 2011, Issue 2. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine or check out our great subscriptions offers here.