North African Lamb and Chickpea Stew (Harira)

North African

Type of Dish Main Course


  • 30 ml (2 Tbsp) olive oil
  • 500 g (1¼ lbs) Lamb (large dice)
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 2 sticks celery (chopped)
  • 5 g (1 tsp) turmeric powder
  • 5 g (1 tsp) cinnamon
  • 3 g (½ tsp) ground ginger
  • 2 g (¼ tsp) nutmeg
  • a pinch saffron
  • 2 tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1.9lt (2 quarts) water or stock
  • 320 g (2 cups) chickpeas (cooked and drained)
  • 60 g (½ cup) lentils
  • to taste salt
  • to taste black pepper
  • 40 g (4 Tbsp) fresh coriander (chopped)
  • 40 g (4 Tbsp) Italian parsley (chopped)
  • 2 lemons (cut into wedges)
  • 50 g harissa paste


  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high flame. Add lamb, sauté and brown on all sides. Remove the meat to a colander and set aside.
  2. Reduce heat to medium, add onions and celery. Sauté until the onions are translucent (about 5 minutes). Add all the spices and sauté for another 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Add tomato stir well and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Finally add the stock. Return the meat to the pot. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low and cover the pot with a lid that fits well and cook slowly for about 1 hour.
  4. Add chickpeas, lentils, salt and pepper and simmer for another 20 minutes, or until the lentils cooked through and tender.
  5. Adjust seasoning, stir in the herbs. Serve with lemon wedges and some harissa chili paste.
  6. Harira is typical type of Lamb Stew that originates from the Maghreb region of North Africa. Of course there are many variations for this hearty, healthy soup, nevertheless most recipes have chunks of lamb simmered slowly with spices, herbs, chickpeas and tomatoes.

Further Information

Yield 6

Preparation Time is approxmiately 40 minutes.

Cooking Time is approxmiately 1 hour.

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