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Hip Hip Harira: Northwest African Soup-Stew

Serves 4–61 tablespoon olive oil1 medium yellow onion, peeled, diced1 stalk celery, chopped2 large carrots, peeled, diced1 teaspoon turmeric½ teaspoon cinnamon¼ teaspoon ginger¼ teaspoon cumin¼ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, juice preserved1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained, or 1 cup cooked chickpeas½ cup dried red lentils, rinsed¼ cup long-grain brown rice3 cups chicken or vegetable stock1 teaspoon salt½ cup fresh parsley, choppedWhite yogurt (optional) {pinterest_rich_pins_images} Hip Hip Harira: Northwest African Soup-Stew {/pinterest_rich_pins_images}

Hip Hip Harira: Northwest African Soup-Stew

  • 1/4
    Harira drizzled with white yogurt
  • 2/4
    Star ingredients: red lentils, chickpeas, brown rice and spices
  • 3/4
    Harira ingredients
  • 4/4
    Harira, a one-pot meal

Text, photos and food cooked by Michal Martinek

Apr 10, 2017

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Harira means “silky” in Arabic, perfectly describing this typical Northwest African dish—a thick, filling soup-stew made with chickpeas, lentils, rice and vegetables, and scented with a bunch of spices that add a distinctly aromatic flavor. It’s an easy one-pot meal that’s comforting and endlessly versatile. You wouldn’t go wrong by adding a handful of shredded, roasted chicken to it, serving it traditionally with hard-boiled eggs, or drizzling tangy yogurt over the top.


  1. Serves 4–6
  2. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  3. 1 medium yellow onion, peeled, diced
  4. 1 stalk celery, chopped
  5. 2 large carrots, peeled, diced
  6. 1 teaspoon turmeric
  7. ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  8. ¼ teaspoon ginger
  9. ¼ teaspoon cumin
  10. ¼ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
  11. 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, juice preserved
  12. 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained, or 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  13. ½ cup dried red lentils, rinsed
  14. ¼ cup long-grain brown rice
  15. 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  16. 1 teaspoon salt
  17. ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  18. White yogurt (optional)


Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion, celery and carrots, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, cumin and black pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute.


Add the tomatoes with their juices, chickpeas, lentils, rice, stock and salt. Cover the saucepan with a lid, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until soft and thickened, about 50 minutes. Turn the heat off, stir in the parsley, and serve.


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