Recipe: The Best Guide to Cooking Mauritanian Harira

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Harira is a soup originally from Morocco prepared with vegetables, pulses, meat, and sometimes, garnished with lemon. The soup is traditionally sipped during Iftar, the post-sunset fast, or during the holy month of Ramadan in the Maghreb. 

Harira is rich in nutritional value.

Prepping to prepare Harira takes a lot of time, unlike other African dishes. You’ll have to spend hours separating and soaking batches of dried chickpeas, lentils, or other beans and legumes as desired. 

You’ll also have to chop, mince, and cut vegetables, including herbs, and spices like ginger, cinnamon, pepper, turmeric, and garlic.

Below is the step-by-step process on how to prepare Harira.

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How to Prepare Harira

Recipe: The Best Guide to Cooking Mauritanian Harira
Chickpeas in a wooden bowl. Image source: Freepik licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tbsp ginger
  • 1 tbsp Turmeric
  • 2 Cups Beef broth
  • 2 Onions, grated
  • 3 tbsp Cooking oil
  • 1 Cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tbsp salt, to taste
  • 2 Parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Black pepper
  • 3 tbsp Tomato paste
  • 3 tbsp rice, uncooked
  • ½ cup dried chickpeas
  • 1 Stalk celery, chopped
  • 6 Large fresh tomatoes
  • ½ Cup of dry green lentils
  • Lemon wedges  (optional)
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon, grounded
  • 2 kilos mix of beef, chicken and lamb, diced

Instructions

Prepping Ingredients

  1. Wash and soak the chickpeas the night prior. When ready, drain and remove the skin. You can do this by pressing the chickpeas one after the other, between your forefinger and thumb. Another alternative is to rub the chickpeas together with a kitchen towel. If you have enough, you can freeze the rest after prepping. 
  2. Put the lentils on a flat tray and pick through any stones and debris.  
  3. Wash and blend the tomatoes until smooth. Set aside.
  4. Peel and wash the onions. Grate them to a thick pulp in a food processor. 
  5. Wash the celery under a running tap and chop it. Set aside. You should remove and discard any large pieces of stem from the cilantro and parsley. Wash the parsley and cilantro and chop them. Set aside. 

Preparing the Harira

  1. Pour the oil into a cooking pot and brown the meat on medium heat. Add the chickpeas, tomato puree, grated onion, spices, and beef broth. You can choose to use water instead.
  2. Bring to a boil, then cook on low heat for 40 minutes.
  3. Add the lentils, tomato paste, and chopped herbs. At this point, add 2 to 3 cups of water, cover, and slow cook for 30 minutes.
  4. Add the rice after 30 minutes and continue cooking on low heat for 30 minutes.
  5. Taste and adjust the seasoning. You can thicken the Harira to a silky, cream-like consistency by gradually adding a mixture of flour and water. Give the soup a thorough stir to ensure there’s no lump of flour. 
  6. Simmer the soup for 5 to 10 minutes.
  7. Serve while hot.

Tips on Preparing Harira

  • Harira recipes can vary from household to household or country to country. For this reason, don’t expect every Harira recipe to taste the same. Whether you’re preparing your own or eating out, there are many varieties to explore. 
  • While this soup is a vegetarian dish,  including protein such as lamb, beef, or chicken is optional. Adding meat adds flavor to the dish.
  • You can serve it as an appetizer or the main course. 
  • You can enjoy Harira with chebakia, or add dates to the hot soup with a squeeze of lemon juice. 
  • The soup is often served with mint tea, coffee, or milk, fresh lemon wedges, crusty bread, and fresh figs.

People Also Read: Recipe: Moroccan Bissara Recipe | Fava Beans Soup or Dip 

Video Credit: Kuzina With Simo 

Simo is a Moroccan American living in Germany. He enjoys exploring and sharing recipes on his YouTube channel. 

spotcovery-Harira-preparing-Mauritanian-harira

Mauritanian Harira

Mauritania
Recipe: The Best Guide to Cooking Mauritanian HariraSedi Djentuh
Harira is a soup originally from Morocco prepared with vegetables, pulses, meat, and sometimes, garnished with lemon. The soup is traditionally sipped during Iftar, the post-sunset fast, or during the holy month of Ramadan.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine African
Servings 4
Calories 320 kcal

Equipment

Cooking Pot

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tbsp ginger
  • 1 tbsp Turmeric
  • 2 Cups Beef broth
  • 2 Onions grated
  • 3 tbsp Cooking oil
  • 1 Cilantro chopped
  • 1 tbsp salt to taste
  • 2 Parsley chopped
  • 1 tbsp Black pepper
  • 3 tbsp Tomato paste
  • 3 tbsp rice uncooked
  • ½ cup dried chickpeas
  • 1 Stalk celery chopped
  • 6 Large fresh tomatoes
  • ½ Cup of dry green lentils
  • Lemon wedges optional
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon grounded
  • 2 kilos mix of beef chicken and lamb, diced

Instructions
 

  • Pour the oil into a cooking pot and brown the meat on medium heat. Add the chickpeas, tomato puree, grated onion, spices, and beef broth. You can choose to use water instead.
  • Bring to a boil, then cook on low heat for 40 minutes.
  • Add the lentils, tomato paste, and chopped herbs. At this point, add 2 to 3 cups of water, cover, and slow cook for 30 minutes.
  • Add the rice after 30 minutes and continue cooking on low heat for 30 minutes.
  • Taste and adjust the seasoning. You can thicken the Harira to a silky, cream-like consistency by gradually adding a mixture of flour and water. Give the soup a thorough stir to ensure there’s no lump of flour.
  • Simmer the soup for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Serve while hot.

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 320kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 16gFat: 11gCholesterol: 29mgPotassium: 811mgFiber: 8gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 15051IUVitamin C: 23mgCalcium: 52mgIron: 3.1mg
Keyword Harira, Vegetable soup
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Sedi Djentuh
Sedi Djentuh
Hey, Sedi here, a content writer. She's fascinated by the interplay between people, lifestyle, relationships, tech and communication dedicated to empowering and spreading positive messages about humanity. She's an avid reader and a student of personal weekly workouts. When she's not writing, Sedi is busy advocating for plastic-free earth with her local NGO.

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