Monday, December 28, 2009

Harira Stew

When my family and I were in Morocco this past summer, I made it a point to try the national soup, Harira. It's the soup traditionally eaten to break the fast of Ramadan, but it's eaten any time of the year besides. And every local eatery with respect for themself serves it, most likely coming from a pot of ginormous dimensions simmering the whole day through.

I had several versions. With lamb. With chicken. Vegetarian. All excellent. I tried my own hand at it on a cold winter's eve, gleaning elements here and there. The traditional must-have elements are there, but I beefed it up a bit physically, to make it heartier. I stuck with the veggie version though. I imagine this fairly easy dish will be a great hangover cure New Year's Day.

2 onions
half tsp cinnamon
half tsp turmeric
half tsp cumin
half tsp ground ginger
1 can tomatoes
a few pinches of saffron
1 liter broth
1 cup lentils (f.ex Puy)
1 can garbanzo beans
2-3 carrots, cubed
1 or 2 handfuls whole buckwheat
1 tsp freshly crushed pepper ( I used red peppercorns)
salt, to taste
cayenne, to taste, if you'd like it spiced up a bit.
lemon wedges

Gently fry up the onions in oil, adding the spices to fry along.
When the onions and spices are soft and incorporated, add the remaining ingredients, one by one, letting them incorporate. Let simmer until lentils, carrots and buckwheat are soft.
Add, salt, pepper and cayenne to taste.
The more it simmers, the more the buckwheat will absorb, so add water accordingly.

Serve with a little fresh squeezed lemon.


fairyprincess said...

I'll be making this one very soon!

Anonymous said...

I didn't have fresh coriander at the time, but most of the recipes I've seen have it. Luckily, I still have some harira in the freezer from when I made it, and just bought coriander today!

fairyprincess said...

We made this for dinner the other day and it was divine! I think adding the coriander helped too.

Anonymous said...

Oh good! I think this will be a new installment in my winter dinner menu planning. Just the right amount of spices for my kids too.

fairyprincess said...

That's great that your kids are good with the spices!