This is the first thing I made in bulk so that I could pack a couple of portions on our first 2-night trip to the coast of Washington in Pernell. Harira is the national dish of Morocco and is a traditional fast-breaking meal during Ramadan. It is vegan and delicious, rich with spices including saffron and cinnamon. It was the perfect meal on a cool evening spent among the redwoods.
This version is straight out of Martha Stewart’s Slow Cooker book. It turned out perfect and I wouldn’t change a thing. It freezes and reheats well, so don’t be shy about making such a large batch.
- 1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked over night or prepared using the quick soak method described below.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil.
- 1 large onion, diced.
- 3 cloves garlic, minced.
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger.
- 2 teaspoons ground turmeric.
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin.
- salt and pepper.
- ½ teaspoon Aleppo pepper or cayenne.
- pinch of saffron.
- 1 cinnamon stick.
- 1 – 28 oz (800g/ml) can of crushed tomatoes.
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro.
- 1 cup French green lentils.
- 1 cup red lentils.
- 8 cups boiling water.
- Preheat 5-6 quart slow cooker.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high.
- Add onion and cook until golden, about 10 minutes.
- Add garlic, ginger, turmeric, cumin, 1 teaspoon black pepper, Aleppo or cayenne, saffron and cinnamon. Cook 2 minutes until fragrant.
- Add tomatoes and cilantro, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
- Transfer mixture to the slow cooker.
- Add chickpeas, green and red lentils.
- Stir in the boiling water.
- Add 1 teaspoon salt.
- Cover and cook on high until chickpeas are tender, about 2½ hours.
- Season with more fresh cilantro, salt and pepper.
- Serve with your favorite flat bread.
NOTE: To quick soak chickpeas, place them in a large pot and cover with plenty of water. Bring to a boil and turn off the heat. Cover with a lid and let stand for 1 hour. Drain. You can save the soaking liquid for future projects such as homemade hummus.