A Bowl of Harira Is Like a Hug From Morocco During Ramadan


Prep Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour and 10 minutes

Servings: 8

Nutrition Profile:

- Sesame-Free

- Diabetes-Appropriate

- Nut-Free

- Dairy-Free

- Healthy Pregnancy

- Soy-Free

- High-Fiber

- High-Protein

- Egg-Free

During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims worldwide partake in various traditions and rituals. The celebrations include donating to charity, praying, and cooking classic recipes like harira. Harira, a traditional Moroccan tomato-based soup, is a staple dish during Ramadan, especially during iftar, the meal consumed to break the fast each day. These customs, passed down from generations, hold a special place in my heart, reminding me of my family's Moroccan roots and the importance of traditions.


Even though most of my celebrations were in the US, reminiscing over these special memories with my brother brings us closer to our family in Morocco.

The observance of Eid al-Fitr in Morocco features a different energy and menu from Ramadan. Family members from different cities gather for a feast where they sacrifice a lamb. The day is filled with abundant food preparation and the sacrifice of the lamb on the rooftop, offering a mix of emotions for the children present. Celebrating Eid al-Fitr in the US was a more subdued affair, yet still cherished and eagerly anticipated each year. Cooking large batches of harira and making chebakia together remained important traditions that helped us connect with our heritage and family across the ocean.


Despite not observing fasting regularly, the experience of partaking in Ramadan practices allowed us to share our culture with others and feel a sense of pride and belonging.

To this day, the lessons learned during Ramadan continue to resonate with me. Embracing these traditions and practices has fostered a sense of humility and accomplishment. If you're interested in delving into the Moroccan traditions of Ramadan, consider trying out this harira recipe and gaining a deeper understanding and appreciation for this holy month.


- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

- 1 pound beef stew meat, cut into bite-size pieces


- 1 medium onion, diced

- 2 stalks celery, chopped

- 3/4 cup minced fresh cilantro, divided (plus more for garnish)

- 3/4 cup minced fresh parsley, divided

- 8 cups water

- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes

- 1 cup dry brown or green lentils, rinsed

- 1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed

- 1 tablespoon ground pepper

- 2 teaspoons ground ginger

- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

- 1 cup fideo noodles or broken vermicelli


- Heat oil in a large pot and cook beef, onion, celery, cilantro, and parsley until beef is browned and vegetables are soft.

- Add water, tomatoes, lentils, chickpeas, seasonings, and simmer until beef and lentils are tender.


- Stir in noodles and cook until tender. Add remaining cilantro and parsley before serving.

Nutrition Information:

- Serving Size: 1 2/3 cups

- Calories: 318

- Fat: 7g

- Saturated Fat: 2g

- Cholesterol: 36mg

- Carbohydrates: 41g

- Total Sugars: 7g

- Added Sugars: 0g

- Protein: 24g

- Fiber: 10g

- Sodium: 695mg

- Potassium: 958mg