Karim Benbaba, Chef at La Grande Table Marocaine, is delighted to share with you his recipe of the iconic Moroccan Harira.
Traditionally eaten during the holy month of Ramadan, following a day of fasting, the Harira is served with a side of dates and a honey-soaked sweet treat known as Chebakya. Rich, flavorful and smooth, the Moroccan soup is not exclusive to Ramadan and can make a perfect meal for a family dinner.
Ingredients (serves 6)
To make the Moroccan Harira, you will need the following ingredients:
- 200 g dry cheakpeas
- 100 g dry lentils
- 900 g lamb or beef
- 800 g tomatoes (400 g of crushed tomato pulp)
- 50 g tomato paste
- 300 g celery branch thinly sliced
- 200 g fresh chopped cilantro
- 200 g fresh chopped parsley
- 400 g onion
- 1 g saffron
- 2 g pepper
- 20 g salt
- 2 g turmeric
- 4 l water
- 1 lamb or beef stock cube
- 7 cl organic olive oil
- 25 g vermicelli or angel hair
- 50 g cornstarch
- 5 g rancid butter (traditional smen)
Soak the chickpeas and lentils separately (for 24 hours) the night before.
Put in the fridge. Remove the skin from the chickpeas and drain the lentils. Reserve.
Cut the meat into small dices (1cmx1cm). Peel, seed and dice the tomatoes. Set aside.
Peel the celery stalks, cut them lengthwise. Thinly slice them.
In a large pot, heat a drizzle of olive oil and add the meat until brown. Add the onions, the celery, the chopped cilantro and parsley and brown for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the diced and crushed tomatoes and the tomato paste, the saffron, the pepper, the chickpeas and the lentils and the stock cube. Stir in the water.
Salt and bring to a boil. Cook over low heat for 1 hour.
When the harira is cooked, keep it on the heat and add the soup thickener by mixing together the cornstarch with 1 cup of water. Stir constantly and keep the soup simmering.
Add the vermicelli and cook for another 3 minutes. Adjust the seasoning.
Final touch, sprinkle a tbsp of fresh chopped cilantro and parsley. Serve hot.