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  • Writer's pictureAngela, Digital Chef, Africa Analyst

Spicy Meat and Lentil Soup - Algerian Harira

Recipe Name: Algerian harira

Subtitle: soup

Culture: Algeria

Preparation time:1 hour 45 minutes

Recipe story:

Traditionally in Algeria, harira is a fast-breaking dish during the month of Ramadan. It is a creamy soup of meat and vegetables served with borek, dates and lemon slices.


· 2 ½ liters of water

· 1 cup of water

· 1 Lemon juice

· 3 teaspoons of plain flour

· 4 pieces of lamb or chicken preferably on the bone.

· 1 carrot

· 1 potato

· 1 courgette (zucchini)

· 2 fresh tomatoes

· ½ bunch of coriander

· 1 fresh fennel bulb or 1 pinch of fennel seed.

· 1 pinch celery seed

· 1 medium onion

· 4 garlic cloves

· 4 tablespoons of chickpeas

· 4 tablespoons of green lentils

· 1 tablespoon of olive oil

· 3 teaspoon ras el hanout spice mix (heaped)

· Salt and pepper


  1. In a medium sized bowl, pour 1 cup of water, the lemon juice and the flour. Set aside.

  2. Also put one garlic clove and ¼ of the coriander to one side until the end of cooking.

  3. Take a heavy bottomed pan or pressure cooker and place the meat, add the vegetables and coriander roughly chopped.

  4. Fry those ingredients with little oil, 1 tsp of ras el hanout for a couple of minutes then pour on the water and leave to simmer, cover for one and a half hours or around 45 minutes in a pressure cooker. Add salt and pepper to taste.

  5. Remove the meat and set aside. Remove any traces of bone, gristle etc.

  6. Liquidize the remaining vegetables and push through a sieve under a bowl. When finished take another cup of freshly boiled water and pour over sieve to get any last traces.

  7. Put back everything in the pan and on low heat (just enough to reach a slow boil) You may wish to add a little more water stock at this stage.

  8. When the harira reaches a boil. Lower heat a little and add the flour mixture. Add a few tbsp of harira to flour mix first. Remember to add gradually and stir continuously to avoid lumps.

  9. Turn heat to low and add finely chopped coriander, minced garlic cloves and 2 tsp of ras el hanout. Allow to harira to heat through again so garlic is not raw.

  10. Sprinkle more coriander on top if desired and serve with fresh bread.

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