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Suitable for vegans
Category Main course
Serves 4
Preparation 30 mins
Cooking 1 hr

Rating: Rated 0 / 5 (0 ratings)

Harira is a thick, hearty Moroccan soup with lentils and split chickpeas and is eaten as a warming snack. It is served daily during Ramadan to break the fast with dates and a glass of milk. Don't be tempted to use shop-bought stock to cook pulses or beans, as the salt in it will slow down their cooking.


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 100g red lentils
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • bunch of fresh coriander, chopped, bunch of fresh parsley, chopped, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • zest and juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 500g tomatoes, peeled and chopped (or tinned tomatoes)
  • ¼ tsp ginger
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • pinch of saffron, infused in 1 tbsp hot water
  • 100g chana dhal (split chickpeas)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • For the herb chermoula: 3 cloves garlic, peeled ½ tsp salt 2 tsp ground cumin 2 tsp ground coriander, 1­–2 tsp paprika
  • 4–6 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander


Stage 1

Heat the olive oil and fry the onion until soft. Add the garlic and fry for 1 minute, then add the tomatoes, tomato purée and all the spices. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Stage 2

Add the red lentils, chana dhal and vegetable stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 30–45 minutes, until the lentils and chana dhal are cooked. You may need to add more water if the soup gets too thick.

Stage 3

Add the lemon juice, coriander and parsley and season to taste.

Stage 4

To make the chermoula, place the garlic and salt in a pestle and mortar and pound to a paste. Alternatively, chop or grate the garlic as finely as possible, using the salt to help break it down into a paste. Mix in the rest of the ingredients, adding enough olive oil to make a loose paste.

Stage 5

Serve the soup with a generous teaspoon of chermoula swirled through and more on the table for your guests to add extra.
COOK'S TIP If you can't find split chickpeas (available from Asian stores), use whole chickpeas soaked overnight and cooked for 1 hour in plenty of water; drain, then add to the soup with the lentils. Or just use a tin of chickpeas and add them towards the end of the cooking.




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Recipe author

Published by: Vegetarian Living
Recipe and styling: Rachel Demuth

Nutritional info

Nutritional values are per serving.

  • Calories: 416g
  • Fat: 23g
  • Saturated fat: 3g
  • Protein: 14g
  • Carbohydrates: 36g
  • Sugars: 11g
  • Fibre: 6g
  • Salt: 0.82g

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