Harira seems to be every Moroccan's favourite late afternoon snack. Moreover it is what is first eaten when the fast during Ramadan is broken. Harira ia normally served with a sweet accompaniment such as dates or Tressed Pastries (see under 'fried sweets' category), but it is sometimes eaten with a savoury dish such as potato cakes. Harira can be varied in many different ways. You may use kefta instead of diced lamb. Yhe chick peas can be replaced with dried broad beans or lentils and the vermocelli with short-grain rice, rinsed before use, or m'hammsa (big couscous grains).
Ingredients: 75 g dried chick peas
250 g lamb neck fillets
1 large onion, thinly sliced
55 g fresh parsley, very finely chopped
pinch of saffron filaments, crushed
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
sea salt and finely ground black pepper
1 (400 g) can Italian plum tomatoes, coarsly chopped
55 g butter
55 g vermicelli, broken into 2 cm pieces
55 g fresh coriander, very finely chopped
1 tablespoon tomato puree
juice of 2 lemons, or to taste
3-4 tablespoons plain flour
Directions: 1. Drain and rinse the chick peas. Spread them on a clean cloth, cover them with another cloth and, with a rolling pin, crush lightly to split them in half and loosen their skin. Put them in a bowl of water and stir with your hands. The skins should float to the surface, which will make them easy to remove and discard.
2. Put the draned chick peas into a large saucepan. Add the lamb,onion, parsley, spices, 1 teaspoon pepper, the tomatoes and their juice and 3 littres water. Bring to tje boil. Drop in the butter, cover and boil over a medium high heat for 1 hour.
3. Stir in vermicelli, coriander, tomato puree and lemon juice. Reduce the heat under the pan to low.
4. Mix the flour with 240 mL of water. Dribble the mixture into the soup, stirring constantly to prevent lumps from forming. The soup should thicken to a velvety consistency. Add sea salt to taste and simmer for a few minutes more, or until the vermicelli is cooked. Check the seasoning, then serve very hot.