Harira is a Moroccan dish typically served as a soup starter. It’s more of a thick stew than a soup rich with lentils and melting tender lamb. My version uses healthier brown rice and is a comforting main served with plenty of fresh warm bread.
1 onion, finely diced
2 fat garlic cloves crushed to a paste
600g lamb shoulder or neck fillet, cut into large chunks
1 litre of chicken stock
1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
2 Tbsp tomato puree
50g Puy Lentils
75g Brown rice
2 Tbsp finely chopped coriander
100g greek yoghurt
Juice of 1/2 a lime
Salt and pepper
1 Tsp ground Turmeric
1/2 Tsp ground ginger
1/2 Tsp ground cinnamon
1 Tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp dried oregano
Small pinch of Saffron
100ml cold water
Place an ovenproof casserole dish over a medium heat, add a good slug of olive oil, the lamb and season with salt and pepper. Seal the lamb on all sides until golden brown and remove with a slotted spoon. Add the onions and sweat for 5 minutes until softened and then add the garlic for a further minute, add the lamb back to the pan.
Combine the spices with the water in a small bowl and mix well, add the spice paste to the pan and cook stirring for 5 minutes.
Add the tomato puree and cook for a further minute. Add the chicken stock and tinned tomatoes and bring to a simmer. At this stage turn the heat down to low and simmer with the lid slightly ajar for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the lamb is tender.
Pre-heat the oven to 160°c. Add the lentils and brown rice to the dish along with a generous seasoning of salt and pepper. Place the lid on the casserole, place in the oven and cook for 30-40 minutes until the rice and lentils are cooked through and the sauce is slightly reduced. Remove from the oven and stir through the coriander.
Mix the yoghurt and lime juice together. Serve the Lamb in bowls with a dollop of yoghurt and hunks of fresh bread.