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Moroccan harira stew

July 20, 2009

I know it’s summer, but when I stumbled upon this recipe, I was intrigued. Yes, it’s hot out, but this harira (stew) has so many fresh ingredients and flavors that it doesn’t taste heavy. A tadouira is a mixture of flour, tomato paste, and cilantro, and is used as a thickener here. Vermicelli are tiny noodles (commonly used in Indian desserts, actually), but if you can’t find them, just take some Italian vermicelli or angel hair pasta and break it into small, 1/2-inch pieces.

For the harira:
1/2 cup green lentils
1T olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cinnamon stick
15-oz. can chopped tomatoes, drained, liquid reserved
2 cups vegetable broth
15-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup vermicelli

For the tadouira:
2T all-purpose flour
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2T lemon juice
1T tomato paste

Bring a small pot of salted water to a boil, add lentils, and cook for 2 minutes. Drain and set aside. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, parsley, cilantro, ginger, and cinnamon stick and sauté for 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft.

Stir in the tomatoes and sauté for 5 minutes more.

Stir in the broth, chickpeas, lentils, reserved tomato liquid, and 4 cups water. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 40-45 minutes or until the lentils are tender, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, make the tadouira by whisking the flour with 1 cup water in a small bowl. Whisk in the cilantro, lemon juice, and tomato paste.

When the harira is almost done, stir in the tadouira and vermicelli and cook for 3 more minutes, or until the noodles are soft. Season with salt to taste, and remove the cinnamon stick before serving.

As far as I’m concerned, you just can’t go wrong with these ingredients. I love this combination of vegetables and legumes, and the fresh herbs really brighten up the earthier components. I’m sure you could make it in a slow cooker, too. No matter what season it is, I LOVE ethnic comfort food!

Yield: 6 servings. Per serving: 238 calories, 4g fat (.6g sat), 44g carbs, 8g fiber, 9.3g protein.

If you like this, you might also like…
Chickpea lentil slow-cooker stew
Three-bean vegan chili

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    July 21, 2009 12:21 pm

    This has nothing to do with your stew, except it looks delicious and I can’t wait to try it, but I just read an article on CNN.com you might be interested in, Rich Roll, who was voted as one of the 25 fittest men in America was totally out of shape 2 years ago and the first thing he did was go to a completely plant based diet and his energy went up and he started working out and now he’s competing in ultraman championships.
    G

  2. July 21, 2009 8:51 pm

    This looks so good!

  3. July 22, 2009 2:39 pm

    Looks terrific! I love the small noodles. When I first read “vermicelli” in an Indian dish it seemed weird; funny how breaking them up can make such a difference.

  4. July 22, 2009 5:34 pm

    G—Good find! For anyone who wants to read it, I found it here.

    Erika—Thanks, let me know if you try it and like it!

    Matt—I agree, it still looks out of place to me to see “vermicelli” in Indian cookbooks or recipes :]

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