September 15, 2014

Moroccan Harira - Lentil & Chickpea soup | Proteinicious soup...

I love chickpeas in most form - Sundal / TIkki / Chole / Oven Roasted chickpea snack etc. So picking this dish for Morocco was a breeeze, and boy did I love it ? Even mom who isnt too much into 'experimenting' had a spoonful of this and loved it.I made it almost like a thick broth, so for me it was a one pot meal - very hearty and filling. You can also make it for weekends, and have it with just toasted breads / pita . Am sure it would taste awesome ! 

Vegetable stock is used to make this, but in case you cant find it, use plain hot water instead. The only thing to note is you can pretty much tone down and up the spice factor in this soup, and that the chickpeas must be cooked through - you dont need a mushy mass, but it needs to be cooked really well to get a good consistency. I adapted the recipe from here. So, go ahead and make this - am sure it would be a winner especially on cloudy or wintery days. The original recipe called for both cooked brown lentils (whole) and chickpeas, but I used only the latter

A brief history of Morocco before today's dish. 
Moroccan Flag

  • Officially the Kingdom of Morocco, Morocco is a country in the Maghreb region of North Africa. Geographically, Morocco is characterized by a rugged mountainous interior and large portions of desert. It is one of only three countries (with Spain and France) to have both Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines. 
  • Morocco has a coast by the Atlantic Ocean that reaches past the Strait of Gibraltar into the Mediterranean Sea. It is bordered by Spain to the north (a water border through the Strait and land borders with three small Spanish-controlled exclavesCeutaMelilla, and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera), Algeria to the east, and Western Sahara to the south. Since Morocco controls most of Western Sahara, its de facto southern boundary is with Mauritania.
  • The English name "Morocco" originates from, respectively, the Spanish and Portuguese names "Marruecos" and "Marrocos". These, in turn, derived from "Marrakesh", the medieval Latin name for the former Almoravid and Almohad capital
  • The cuisine of Morocco is mainly Berber-Moorish, European, Mediterranean cuisines. The cuisine of Morocco is essentially Berber cuisine (sometimes referred to as the Moorish cuisine). It is also Influenced by Sephardic cuisine and by the Moriscos when they took refuge in Morocco after the Spanish Reconquista. Spices are used extensively in Moroccan food. 
  • The most famous Moroccan dishes are CouscousPastilla (also spelled Bsteeya or Bestilla), TajineTanjia and Harira.

Country : Morocco
Dish : Harira – Lentil and Chickpea soup
Spice level : Medium to high
Serving suggestions :  Toasted bread or just as a broth
Prep time : 15 mins | Cook time: 20 mins | Serves : 4
Adapted from here

  • Cooked chickpeas – 1 cup (if using canned, drain well and use)
  • Cooked brown lentils – ¼ cup (I skipped this)*See notes
  • Onion – 1 large – minced
  • Diced tomatoes – 2 large
  • Vegetable stock -4 cups (or use soup bullions with hot water)* See Notes
  • Olive oil – 1 TBSP
  • Garlic – 1 tsp – finely minced or about 3 pods, crushed.
  • Ginger grated – 1 tsp
  • Cayenne pepper / red spicy chilli powder – ½ tsp
  • Ground jeera / cumin – ½ tsp
  • Salt – to taste
  • Sugar – 1 tsp (opt.)
  • Lemon juice – 1 tsp (opt.)
  • Garnish : diced fresh red chillies, coriander.

In a large soup pot, heat oil. Saute onions, garlic and ginger for 3-4 mins. Add the tomatoes and lightly sauté (we want them chunky).
Now add salt, pepper, ground cumin, stock and bring to a simmer. Puree one handful of the boiled chickpeas without additional water. Add this puree and the cooked chickpeas and lentils (if using) to the stock and simmer gently for 8-10 minutes.
Finish with lemon juice, coriander and sliced fresh red pepper.
Serve hot with pita or any other bread !

1) If using bullions, go easy on the salt as it already contains salt.
2) If using brown lentils, soak them for 20 mins and parboil them, we don't want them too mushy. 

Lets see what the other marathoners have dished out for the World Blogging Marathon

Linking this to Archana’s Soups and Salads Kids Delight event , created by Srivalli.


  1. Very well made Harira, so comforting and filling..

  2. These stews are ideal for cold winter evenings. Lovely thick broth. Nice one

  3. A hearty, filling soup. I had prepared this long back and recall enjoying it.

  4. That bowl of harira is quite enough for me to finish my dinner happily rite now.

  5. Simple, flavorful and healthy soup.

  6. wow such an flavorful and tempting harira , make my mouth water.. so so inviting one !! perfect for a cold weather !!

  7. Love this Harira..yet never came around to making it..

  8. Wow the soup looks so good..anything with chick peas is going to taste awesome..lovely garnish and tempting soup.

  9. Wow what a delicious soup and your pics are awesome. Love it.

  10. Harira is filling bowl of soup. I too like chickpeas in any forma and I think I will like this soup.

  11. A stunning bowl of goodness and flavor, Kalyani!

  12. what a delicious protein packed bowl of soup

  13. That looks like a filling bowl of soup....

  14. Comforting harira, with cold climate setting here slowly, this is all we need for a warm night dinner!!!

  15. Superb! Lovely soup and we are huge fans of Chickpeas too :)


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