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Friday, February 13, 2015

HARIRA A LENTIL SOUP TO BREAK THE RAMADAM FAST

Lentils to be Soaked Overnight
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Jaén jarira, Ar. harīra, adasiyyat (fr. adas, lentil) Eng. harira, the Queen of Moroccan Cuisine, lentil soup. Soup like dish, referred to by Assyrains as “vegetable of lungs.” Traditionally to this day, drinking this soup marks the end of daily fasting during Ramadan. It is known for its iron content due to the lentils and is always imbibed to combat winter colds.

Every region and every home has a different recipe for harira. It can contain chickpeas, noodles and vegetables. It is slowly boiled in concentrated meat or chicken broth and can be mixed with wheat or rye and then strained. It is well spiced hen or lamb can be added as well.
During Ramadam, harira is served to prepare the stomach for a feast of lamb, either roasted or in tajines (stewing pans).

Avenzoar stated that when made with wheat it produces a heavy and raw humor. That made with barley, sorghum or proso flour is better than wheat. Some hariras are prepared with fermented bread, once the bread is cooked. Wheat, he continues, is the best for healthy people although it can do damage to the sick. Soup with barley bread is not as nutritious as wheat but it is recommended for those with high fevers. As gachas, harira, in Spain, was a generalized dish after 12 C. See harina. [Benavides-Barajas. Alhambra. 1999:53-54; Ency Islam. 1960-<1998>:369; Ibn Zuhr/García Sánchez. 1992:50; and Nastrallah. 2003:129-132]

ONE OF MANY OF THE SPANISH CHEF’S VERSIONS OF HARIRA

Beware, the art of this recipe is its simplicity but if done from scratch, it is time consuming.

Ingredients

Chopping Ingredients Before Beginning to Cook
Photo by: Lord-Williams

 c chickpeas

½ c lentils 
1 bunch cilantro
1 bunch parsley (optional)[1]
1 stalk celery (optional)
7 oz veal
2 onions
2 tsp ginger scrapings
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp white pepper
1 tsp saffron
¼ c olive oil
2 ½ qts meat broth
2 tbsp flour
1 c noodles
¼ c lemon juice

Preparation

A Dish Savored by All!
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Soak chickpeas and lentils overnight in separate bowls. Strain, rinse and put into a heavy pot.

Chop cilantro, parsley and celery together. Wash onions in cold water, skin and chop. Dice meat. Skin fresh ginger and shred it. Mash saffron and dilute it in a little meat broth.
Add all to the pot.

Heat a frying pan and add olive oil. Fry the onions. When translucent, remove from frying pan and put them in the pot. Add the meat to the frying pan and seal it. When browned add it to the pot. 

Cover and gently boil about 30 minutes depending on the age of the legumes. Younger ones cook faster.

When done, a add noodles. Remove from heat and let sit 3 minutes. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed

Add lemon juice.

Garnish with lemon wedges and serve with pita bread.

RECIPE FROM NAWAL NASTRALLAH’S DELIGHTS THE GARDEN OF EDAN, -
LENTIL SOUP (SHORBAT ADAS), pp 131-132
Ingredients

2 c shelled yellow or red lentils
2 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp curry powder, Optional
½ tsp turmeric, Optional
2 tbsp tomato paste or ½ c tomato sauce, Optional
2 ½ c broken vermicelli needles (2 balls)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 heaping tbsp. whole wheat or all-purpose flour
¼ c lemon juice

Garnish
chopped parsley

Preparation

1. Put lentils in a medium heavy pot, and cover with cold water by 3-4” (about 10 c). Bring to a quick boil, skimming froth as needed. Lower heat to low and let simmer, covered, until lentil is thoroughly cooked, about 30 minutes. For a creamy texture whisk the mixture with a hand whisker until smooth, a few minutes.

2. Add salt, black pepper optional items and broken noodles. Stir well. Keep simmering, and stir occasionally to prevent soup from sticking to the bottom of the pot until soup is nicely thickened about 15 minutes.

3. Meanwhile in a small skillet sauté onion until it is golden brown. Add flour and fold until flour changes color and is fragrant. Ladle some of the soup into the skillet, and stir to dislodge any flour and onion that might have stuck to the skillet. Pour the contents of the skillet back to the soup pot about 4 minutes before soup is done. Add lemon juice.

Ladle soup into bowls; garnish with chopped parsley; and serve with warm bread.

Varitions:

Toast bite-six pieces of flat bread, and sprinkle them on top of soup in a bouwl, just before serving.

Add to the soup, chopped spinach, (one 10-ounce package frozen or one pound fresh= along with the rest of the ingredients in step 2.
 

AL-BAGHDADI’S THIRTEENTH CENTRURY RECIPE FOR ADASTYA,
NASTRALLAH TRANSLATION, p 131-132
Cut up meat, and dissolve the tail as usual. Put the meat into the oil, and fry lightly until browned; then throw in a little salt, cumin and brayed dry coriander, and cover with water. When nearly cooked. Add beet [Swiss chard] washed and cut into pieces four fingers long. When thoroughly boiling, add as required lentils, cleaned and washed, and keep a steady fire going until the lentils are cooked. When set smooth and definitely cooked; add as required fine-braised garlic, stirring with  a ladle. Then leave over a slow fire; and remove. When serving, squeeze over it lemon juice. (45)
  


[1] Although parsley and celery existed, they were seldom used in Spain during the Middle Ages. Celery leaves were used more than stalks.

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