Moroccan Harira Soup {Recipe}

Harira is a Moroccan soup that is mostly eaten during Ramadan by residents but often made year round for visitors who want a local taste.

The name harira, derived from the Arabic word meaning silk, takes it’s name from the texture of the soup after it’s been thickened with the egg at the end.

While I was visiting Morocco, I was surprised at the different ways it was made. From the hotel in Rabat to the riad in Tétouan, they each had their own spin.

I wanted to try out my version tonight that I thought my family would like and they loved it. I used beef and my youngest said she would like to try it with chicken next time, while my husband wanted a version with no meat. We’ll keep playing around with it and if you do make it for your family, make sure to let us know!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound beef
  • 2 TB Olive oil
  • 1 Onion
  • 3 Celery stalks
  • 3 Carrots
  • 1 cup Lentils
  • 1 can drained Chickpeas
  • Parsley bunch
  • Cilantro bunch
  • 1 can Tomato sauce
  • 8 cups beef bouillon/broth
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 TB Flour
  • 2 TB Lemon juice
  • 2 cups water

I started by browning the meat in the olive oil.

Once it was done, I set it aside in my cooking pot and used the meat juices to cook the chopped onion. After five minutes of medium heat, I added the celery and carrots.

I also added all the spices and cooked everything for an additional five minutes.

Now that the celery and carrots had softened just a little, I added the meat mixture on top so I could use the pot to get the water mixture started. I boiled the eight cups of beef broth and added the chickpeas, lentils and tomato sauce. Once everything started to boil, I added the meat and other vegetables back in to simmer for one hour.

My timer told me after an hour that it was time to add the finally chopped parsley and cilantro and let that cook for an additional ten minutes.

While that was on the stove, I whisked together the water, egg, flour and lemon juice and slowly added it in for an additional five minutes.

The soup is wonderful with bread to help soak up the last few drops. Be sure to leave leftovers for the next day. One of my favorite foods for breakfast at the Rabat hotel was their harira and many Moroccans swear their favorite soup is best eaten as a leftover.

If you enjoyed making this soup, make sure you stop by these other yummy foods to make for Ramadan

Libyan Sharba Soup {Recipe}

Palestinian Spinach and Lentil Soup {Recipe}

Visit A Crafty Arab on Pinterest to see what other foods you can make from the Arab world.

Kofta Crescent Ring {Recipe}

Our family had friends over for dinner recently and I made kofta, a meatball type dish, commonly eaten from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. To make my kofta a little more unusual, I placed it into pre-made crescent rolls shaped into a ring.

In Morocco, kofta is made in a tagine, while in Libya and Egypt, kofta might be shaped into cigar or finger sizes that can easily fit into sandwiches. Some in the Levent region, like Jordon or Palestine, might make kofta flattened into a tray or made into patties.

I have seen the crescent rings made before, from taco crescent rings to french dip crescent rings, but I had never seen one made from kofta.

I will have to admit the photos below are of our family’s second attempt. The first try tasted just the same, but did not look pretty. I figured out the secret and want to share it with you so you’ll enjoy this yummy dish at home too.

Ingredients

  • 2lbs ground beef
  • 1egg
  • 1cup bread crums
  • 3 or 4 cloves garlic
  • 1tsp sald
  • 2 1/2tsp ground sumac
  • 2tsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2tsp red peper flakes
  • 1 1/2tsp paprika
  • 2 packages of Pillsbury Crescents

I started by getting the ring ready first. I placed all the crescent rolls in a circle, making sure the bottoms overlapped, with the points facing out.

Slice the garlic cloves and place them, along with all the other ingredients, into one bowl. Wash your hands and use them to mix everything. Kids love to do this part, so let them at it.

After everything is well mixed, shape the meat mixture into a circle on the crescent rolls.

Here is where I messed up on my first try, make sure the tips of the crescent rolls are tucked under. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes and your kofta crescent ring is ready to enjoy.

Let the kofta cool a little before cutting into it, but the lines of the rolls make it easy to size portions.

Our dinner table also included Moroccan stew, tabouleh, and pasta salad, along with a few other sides.

Be sure to stop by these other kid friendly foods from the MENA region

Eid Sprinkle Marshmallow Pops {Tutorial}

Sandwich Swap {Book Review} plus Hummus {Recipe}

Visit A Crafty Arab on Pinterest to see more posts about the Arab world & Muslim culture.


Moon Cupcake Toppers {Recipe}

We had such a great time making these mini Oreo, easy moon cupcake toppers this past weekend.

 

I found the mini Oreo cookie bag in our grocery store check out aisle and had the idea right away that they would make adorable mini moons.

 

We love making crafts that focus on the moon since it’s such a big part of the Islamic calendar. It helps determine when Ramadan starts and when Eid is celebrated.

 

We have so many moon crafts, that I’ve compiled them into a list of 99, so be sure to check it out.

99 creative arabic craft moon projects

For this yummy treat to happen, gather these few items.  The goal is to make more Oreo toppers for the cupcakes than to eat them. Sadly we had a lot of broken pieces in our bag that could not be used as toppers and had to be sacrificed.  So I’d recommend buying two bags if you are trying this out.

 

Supplies

Mini Oreos
Spreading knife
Cupcake {Home made}
Toothpicks
Sprinkles
Frosting
Plate

Our toothpicks had a pointy end and a flat end, so we used the pointy end for the cookie and the flat end went into the cupcake.  Hold the Oreo firmly in your fingers when you insert the toothpick as the inside of the cookie is very soft. Place the finished Oreos on a plate.

We settled on making just five of the moon phases, to look similar to our Ramadan Chalkboard String Art. We used it as a guide to decorate the Oreo cookies with the frosting.

Once the cookies were done, we added the sprinkles for texture to look like the dark spots of the moon.  We also picked up the Oreo cookies and gently pressed the frosted side into the sprinkles that had fallen on the plate to pick up extras.

Our moon phases cupcake toppers are done and ready to be placed into the cupcakes.  Put them all on one, or spread them out.  Again, try not to eat them before the party. It’s very hard!

If you’d like to make more party treats, check out these other simple crafts

BaklaWa Pops {Recipe}

Ramadan Man’ousheh Mini Bites {Recipe}

 

Visit A Crafty Arab on Pinterest to see more tutorials that teach about Islam or the Muslim world.

Enjoy these moon books that teach about it’s importance during Ramadan: