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. 

Serves 8.


  • 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.


  1. Preheat 5-6 quart slow cooker.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high.
  3. Add onion and cook until golden, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add garlic, ginger, turmeric, cumin, 1 teaspoon black pepper, Aleppo or cayenne, saffron and cinnamon. Cook 2 minutes until fragrant.
  5. Add tomatoes and cilantro, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
  6. Transfer mixture to the slow cooker.
  7. Add chickpeas, green and red lentils.
  8. Stir in the boiling water.
  9. Add 1 teaspoon salt.
  10. Cover and cook on high until chickpeas are tender, about 2½ hours.
  11. Season with more fresh cilantro, salt and pepper.
  12. 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.

One Reply to “Harira”

  1. Wonderful to read about Pernell who will be taking you on fine adventures! Food is an important part of trailer travel – love that you enjoyed your meals while at the coast.

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