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Moroccan Beef, Tomato and Chickpea Stew (Harira)

4 to 6 Servings

2½ hours 45 minutes active

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Harira is a Moroccan stew—or a thick, hearty soup—traditionally served during Ramadan as a way to break the fast. Made with meat, tomatoes, spices and chickpeas, harira is warming and deeply satisfying, so it’s no surprise it’s served year-round in homes as well as at shops. We sampled several versions on a recent trip to Morocco, and we loved the one taught to us by home cook Houda Mehdi, who lives in Fes in northeastern Morocco. We based our recipe on hers, opting for stovetop simmering instead of pressure cooking and swapping beef for lamb. We also use canned chickpeas for convenience. Though harira typically is thickened with flour, Mehdi prefers to use pureed cooked vegetables (potatoes and carrots) to give the broth body, because she says—and we agree—that the stew tastes cleaner and brighter. We follow her lead and mash the vegetables that have simmered until tender in the cooking liquid to a coarse puree (alternatively, you could use an immersion blender for a smoother, more even texture). Harissa, a North African spice paste, lends the stew a delicious heat and complexity. Serve the harira with warm bread.

4 to 6



Don’t combine the cilantro stems and leaves after chopping. Reserve them separately, as the stems are used early on and the leaves are stirred in just before serving. Also, don’t bother rinsing the chickpeas. Simply drain off the liquid from the cans. The starchy liquid left clinging to the chickpeas helps give the soup a rich consistency.

2½ hours

45 minutes active



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Kristen S.
May 3, 2023
One of my favorite go to dishes!
So rich and flavorful! Because of this recipe I now keep harissa stocked in my pantry, so now, most of the ingredients are pretty basic. Feeds many, warms the heart, great to share!
Elisa C.
November 11, 2022
Delicious Stew
I made this according to the recipe for a friend and then I made it in the Instant Pot for us. The batch made in the Instant Pot (with canned sliced tomatoes) was actually tastier and meat was falling apart tender. If I make it again in the Instant Pot, I will reduce the broth by half.
Caroline L.
September 22, 2022
Startling delicious
I knew it sounded good on paper but the end product was fabulous! I doubled the recipe and shared with neighbors who raved about it. Salt to taste in the end and added more harisa paste.
prateek m.
June 11, 2023
terrific one dish meal
A couple of observations: 1) we reduced the amount of potato by half and cooked them separately and added at the last stage 2) The next time around we will cube the beef before cooking, I think that will make the meat more tender. Has anyone made a vegetarian version of the dish? Replacing the beef with Indian Paneer or Tofu.