harira, moroccan stew

Harira (Moroccan Stew)



  • 250g lean beef or lamb, cut into 1 inch cubes or same amount minced
  • 120g chickpeas (soaked overnight)
  • 100g green lentils (no need to soak)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped small like the meat
  • 2 cloves garlic, pounded to a paste
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 2 inch ginger, pounded to a paste
  • 2 inch cinnamon stick
  • half tsp ground cumin
  • quarter tsp crushed pepper
  • 1 carrot, chopped into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 medium sized potatoes – or more/less, depending on taste, cubed as above
  • OR 2 handful vermicelli pasta, broken into roughly 2.5cm/1″ lengths
  • big pinch of saffron threads
  • 400g canned chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree/sundried tomato paste
  • 1 medium bunch each of flat leaf parsley and coriander, chopped
  • 500 mls beef stock plus 1 litre of water or a good stockpot or cube mixed with 1.5 litres water
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp harissa
  • quarter tsp mustard (only if using beef or lamb)
  • lemon wedges, fresh parley, fresh coriander and harissa paste for serving


  1. Heat a large saucepan on high heat and when hot, add the beef, garlic, ginger, cumin and cinnamon and dry fry quickly.
  2. After a minute or so, add the flour, mixing it in thoroughly.
  3. When the flour’s mixed in completely, add everything else apart from the potatoes, lemon juice, egg, harissa and mustard.
  4. Bring everything to the boil and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes.
  5. Add the potatoes and cook for another 15 minutes or till potatoes are done.
  6. Mix the egg and lemon juice well and pour this into the saucepan, stirring it vigorously to mix it up.
  7. You don’t want big bits of egg.
  8. Stir in the mustard and harissa, cook for a minute and serve with a sprinkling of the herbs and a wedge of lemon and some harissa paste on the side.


  • Serving Size: 6-8