Thursday, March 29, 2007

Harira, my way

The inspiration to last night's dish was chickpeas. For me cooking is about using ingredients that are in the kitchen and/or pantry and preparing a divine dish from that. The husband soaked 1.5 cups of dry garbanzo beans the previous night intending to make chole. If you've soaked dried beans, you know that they expand; the next morning we had double the garbanzo beans and no interest in making chole. I had a change of heart because I attempted to make bhature last week and failed miserably so I didn't want to relive that, again.

What to do, what to do... decisions, decisions..

Then it dawned on me to make hummus with half of the beans. I gave some of it to friends EB & MG. And AM was coming over to celebrate my birthday, offer decorating advice for the house (since I lack in that department) and to eat dinner. Guests over for dinner is a perfect time to make a fancy dish, therefore the other half of the beans were used to make my version of Harira, Moroccan stew, eaten after breaking fast on Ramadan. It is made on the stove in a watched pot but because it was harira my way I changed the recipe and cooked it in the slow cooker.


3 garlic cloves minced
1 medium onion chopped
1 teaspoon turmeric
a good pinch of saffron threads
1 cinammon stick
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 tablespoon ground cumin, divided
2 tablespoon ground coriander, divided
2 teaspoons cayenne powder, divided
salt & pepper
2 cups soaked chickpeas, or one 16 oz. can
2 lbs chicken thighs, about 6 thighs
1 1/2 cups chicken broth or water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
almonds for topping
green onions for topping
Sprinkle salt & pepper, 1 tablespoon ground cumin, 1 tablespoon ground coriander and 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper on both sides of the chicken.

To the crockpot add garlic, onions, turmeric, saffron, cinammon stick, chili powder, rest of ground cumin, ground coriander, and cayenne pepper. Drain the chickpeas from the overnight soaking liquid and add to the slow cooker and stir. Place the seasoned chicken on top of the chickpeas and add broth or water. Cook on low for 8-10 hours. Though it's tempting, don't stir during the cooking or the chicken will break into pieces. When serving, chicken should be in individual pieces. In the last hour of the cooking, add lemon juice.

Harira can be eaten with rice or couscous. Top it with green onions and almonds and serve with your choice of side.

After we finished dinner I realized I didn't take any pictures. We were all too hungry to think about pictures, obviously. My guests always jump at the opportunity to take pictures for MY blog prior to dinner, don't yours? No? Your friends are odd.

The recipe was a success and pictures might have been a great addition but they wouldn't convey the marvelous smell and taste of the dish when it's made. You have to try it to believe it.

side note: you can add golden raisins and tomatoes to the recipe but since someone in the family isn't a fan of both of those in this recipe, I omitted them.

This is my submission to Arabian Nights Mingle hosted by Meeta at What's for Lunch Honey check it out and try some great food.


Meeta K. Wolff said...

This does sound great. I probably would add the tomatoes, but I am not always too keen on having raisins in my savory dishes.

liberal foodie said...

When I was younger, my mom rarely used raisins in her cooking so I am not used to that additon however if added to a dish, I'll eat them. I use them every so often if a recipe calls for them.

sher said...

Look at those ingredients!! I love them. And you had me at chickpeas!!! Yum!