Ramadhan Soups- Morrocan Harira Soup

By Karimah bitn Dawoud, muslim chaplain and well being writer.

This wonderful tasty signature recipe is from my book ,

Heavenly Bites, The Best of Muslim Home Cooking”.



The book has loads of great healthy ramadhan recipes.


If you call them to day , inshallah you will have it tomorrow.

Morrocan Harira Soup
Morrocan Harira Soup

Serve 8 persons

As a revert this soup is part of my early memories of coming into the deen, I was shopping in Little Morocco, an area near where I live and it was Maghreb time, my first Ramadhan, the stall holder from the fruit and veg stall ask me “ sister have you broken your fast?” I said “no, I’ll do it when I get home” he said “no sister you must not do that, you must break your fast on time, its Sunnah, they sat me on the back of their lorry and gave me Harira and shebakia, Moroccan nutty sweet cakes, that first memory and their love for me as their sister is a relationship of salaams that has lasted to this day alhamdulilair
This soup is eaten morning and night in morocco and by Moroccan during Ramadhan; this soup is akin to Pakistan halleem without the wheat and is a meal in itself. To the dread of my traditional Moroccan friends I add fresh okra to it to give it that Karimah healthy twist
This is one of the best soups in the world maashallah and is custom to break the fast in Morocco during Ramadhan eating this soup after dates and water. There are variations on this dish from region to region, some people add corn flour to thicken it but it’s not necessary as the red lentils thicken the soup anyway. Some people use baked garlic but in Ramadhan I prefer not to, there is no one fixed harira recipe so please add your own variations and let me know the outcome inshallah

Other types of chorba soups are also used at iftar in along the Magreb region from Morocco to Libya. I have heard and seen that sometimes people eat too much at iftar time to compensate for the lack of food during fasting, they become constipated from eating the wrong foods. This is not of the Sunnah and so I have added okra/bamiya to this soup to help cleanse the body and ease elimination of toxins.

• 500g/ 1 lb. lamb, cut into small cubes
• 5ml/1 teaspoon turmeric
• 5ml/1 teaspoon pepper
• 5ml/1 teaspoon cinnamon
• 5ml/1 teaspoon of dry basil
• 5ml/1 teaspoon salt
• 25ml/1 oz/1 cup chopped celery and leaves
• 3 small onions, chopped
• 20ml/ ¾ oz 1 cup parsley
• 20ml/ ¾ oz/1 cup coriander, chopped
• 10ml / 1/3 oz/ ½ cup of fresh mint leaves chopped
• 240g/8 ½ oz/ (drained weight) 1 can of tomatoes, chopped
• 5ml/1 teaspoon salt
• 150ml/ 4 fl oz/3/4 cup lentils
• 1 litre of water/2 pints/ 4 ¼ cups
• 280g/9 oz/ (drained weight) 1 tin chickpeas (canned are fine)
• 30g/3 oz/1/2 cup vermicelli fine soup noodles
• 2 eggs, beaten with the juice of 1 lemon , do this at last minute
Fry onions and celery till golden and add meat and fry and stir on medium to high heat without burning to brown the lamb,
Turn heat down to medium, add salt, pepper, basil, tumeric, cinnamon, stir gently
Then add the fresh chopped coriander and parsley and stir for 1 minutes
Add the washed and drained lentils, you should see a beautiful mixture of colours in your pot
Add chopped tinned tomatoes and 1 litre of water and leave to simmer for at least 1 hour on a low heat, stirring occasionally and adding more water should the soup become too thick, remember it’s a soup not a stew or curry.
When ready to serve, add the chickpeas and noodles(you could you rice noodles if you are wheat allergic) and cook for 5 minutes adding at least another cup of water to re-hydrate the noodles.
Turn the heat back up to medium
Stir in the lemon juice and eggs mixture with a long wooden spoon. Continue stirring slowly, to create long eggie strands and to thicken the soup.
Season with finely chopped mint leaves and serve into bowls .Using a tea strainer put a teaspoon of dry cinnamon and shake gently a little of the cinnamon over each bowl of soup, do not use all the cinnamon for one bowl, just add a little over each bowl.
Serve with lemon/olive dressing and make duaa for me please!


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