Harirah - Moroccan Ramadhan Soup

Breaking fasts in Ramadhan in the middle east is a little different than in Asia. My first exposure to this is not through my marriage, but through a beautiful friend Fatimahzahra, an expatriate wife of French and Moroccan descent living in Singapore at that time. She was a volunteer arabic teacher in a Markaz I was attending before I got married. Me and another student, was invited to her home one evening after class and helped prepare for iftar.

According to Fatimahzahra, her very Moroccan husband wouldn't have anything else but Harirah for breaking fast. (after Tamr or Kurma of course) Unlike our household in Singapore, preparation starts well after zuhr, but Fatimahzahra took her own sweet time. I know why after discovering that she didn't need to make many types of food, all she needed to do was Harirah and blended smoothies to go with and another quick dish ready to pop in the oven after tarawih prayers!

Moroccan harirah soup - is kinda like the Italian minestrone but is not sour. It is very filling, as its full of proteins and carbs (you can minimise this) and I know why they don't need to eat anything else after that! So here is the recipe, not just for ramadhan of course, for anytime of the week, or as a starter if you like. This recipe has been tried and tested many many times by myself and my friends.

Recipe :

Butter 1 or 2 tblspoon
1 large onion (diced)
50gram flat leaf parsley + 50gm coriander leaves chopped (half a cup-1cup)
Salt & Pepper
Lamb or beef minced (300 gms)
Uncooked Rice (1/4 cup or less)
10 strands of spagetti (broken into pieces 2cm thereabouts)
1/2 cup lentils (pre soaked)
1/2 cup chick peas (pre soaked)
Tomato paste 2 small tins (3 tblspoon or more if u like)
Corn flour/Plain flour 1tblsp for thickening*
Beef stock 1 cube


Melt butter in pot on medium heat, add onions and fry till limp then add coriander/parsley leaves - fry till fragrant.

Add minced meat and keep frying till it turns brown, add a little water and leave the meat to simmer.

When it starts to boil, add beef stock with about 2 glasses of water. Now add rice/lentils/chickpeas/spaghetti into pot and simmer to cook.

When it's almost done, add the tomato paste and stir it in. Lastly, add plain/corn flour* if you want it thickened, otherwise, leave it - as rice is already starchy. Add more water as needed.

Add salt & pepper to taste.

Serve with warm hubz & enjoy!


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