Lamb Harira


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


Appears in

Slow Cook Modern

Slow Cook Modern

By Liana Krissoff

Published 2017

  • About

Harira is a widely variable stew that’s often served in Morocco for late-night meals during Ramadan; the only real constants among the many recipes I’ve seen are lentils and chickpeas. This version features just a bit of tender lamb, which is mostly for flavoring the lentils (you could reasonably use even less than the amount I suggest here). It’s traditionally served with dates and lemon wedges, and beghrir, holey pancakes dipped in warm diluted honey.


  • 1 tablespoon ghee or olive oil
  • 12 ounces (340 g) lamb stew meat, cut into small pieces
  • 1 pound (455 g) brown or red lentils
  • 1 (14- to 15-ounce/400- to 430-g) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed, or about cups cooked and drained chickpeas
  • 1 (14.5-ounce/411-g) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup (10 g) chopped fresh cilantro
  • Lemon wedges
  • Pitted dates (optional)



In a large skillet or sauté pan, heat the ghee over medium-high heat. When it shimmers, add the lamb and cook, turning with a metal spatula, until the pieces are lightly browned on one or two sides, about 5 minutes total. Transfer to the slow cooker. Pour 1 cup (240 ml) water into the hot skillet, scraping up any browned bits, then pour the liquid into the cooker.

Rinse the lentils in a sieve under running water. Dump into the cooker and add the chickpeas, tomatoes, paprika, cinnamon, ginger, and 5 cups (1.2 L) water. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.


Season with salt (about 2 teaspoons) and several grindings of pepper. Stir in the cilantro. If you’d like, hit the lentils with an immersion blender for a couple of seconds (it’s fine if some of the lamb gets blended) to break them up and thicken the stew. Serve in bowls or on plates if the stew is very thick, with lemon wedges and dates, if desired, on the side.