Sep 1, 2014

Harira From Algeria

We have started another Mega BM this month. Actually I missed last mega BM and irregular in few month BM. That was SriValli, so kind of her, She didn't through me out from the BM group thank you so much for that Valli.

                                                                          When I saw the mail about this Mega Marathon, with the theme of International cuisine in alphabetical order I just wanted to do this. And let's check the theme Around the world in 30 days, when I saw this I just remember that old Raj Kapoor's movie Around the world in 8 dollars. I am a huge fan of Raj kapoor movies not only Raj kapoors all old movies. I don't know if Valli know about that movie or not but This theme made me to saw that movie once again. Any way that is an other story, now coming to the BM.
                                                                  This month we have to cook a recipe from each country in alphabetical order. Like day one we have to choose a country with the very first letter A. Means A for America, Algeria, Armenia, Argentina, and we have to cook a recipe from that country cuisine.

     My first choice is Algeria, This is a North African Country. I lived in North Africa for one year. When ever I get a chance I tried to explore the cuisine of north Africa. Like all other North African countries Algerian cuisine is a fusion of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine. Also got a strong influence of Turkish cuisine. Like other North African Mediterranean coastal countries Algeria  has its large range of tropical fruit and vegetables and they use a lot of vegetables in their cooking. Because of Mediterranean coast they also have a huge range of see food recipes also. Lamb is commonly consumed in all over the country. Flat breads like Kesra is eaten with every meal, but in some regions couscous is more favorite then flat breads. They use a lot of spices like cumin,  different verities of dry red chillies, coriander, nutmeg, fennel, ginger, mace, star anise, black pepper, caraway and many more like this. Traditionally Algerian food is cooked in clay vessels.
                                                        Salads will take an important roll in Algerian cuisine with a influence of French and Turkish cuisine. Some dishes were much more influenced by Spanish cuisine. Fresh seasonal fruits are served at the end of the meal. Sweets like Halwa (this looks like our sonpappidi), makroudh are eaten during the Ramadan month. Mint tea and Turkish coffee are the favorite drinks and drunk in the mornings with pastries.
                                                   My choice for today recipe from Algerian cuisine is Harira. Harira is traditional soup of Maghreb. It is a popular starter but also can have as a one pot meal because it contain lentils, chick peas, vegetables, meat, eggs and rice or pasta. It is usually served with hard boiled eggs and Algerian bread, dry fruits, traditional honey sweets also with slices of lemon.
                                             I made my Harira with out meat, served with bread.
Recipe adopted from here
Onion   ---  1 big finely chopped
Tomatoes  ---  3 big
Celery  ----  1 stalk chopped
Olive oil  ---  2 tab sp
Zucchini  ---  1 peeled and chopped
Potato  ---  1 big peeled and chopped
Carrots ---  2 peeled and chopped
Lentils   ---  3/4 cup (dry)
Ginger  ---  1 tea sp ground
Coriander powder  ---  1 tab sp
Cumin powder   ---  1 tab sp
Turmeric powder  --- 1/2 tea sp
Hot paprika  ---  1/2 tea sp
Black pepper powder  --- 1/2 tea sp
Salt to taste
Bay leaf  --- 1
Parsley  ---  2 cups chopped
Coriander leaves  --- 2 cups chopped
Green pepper  -- 1 (can use jalapeno pepper)
Chick peas  --- 1 can drained and rinsed (I used dry chick peas soaked for overnight and cooked till soft)
Vermicelli broken in to bite size pieces or rice   ---  3/4 cup
Flour   ---- 3 tab sp
Lemon juice   -- juice of one lemon
Water  ---  1/2 cup
Caraway powder  --- 1 tab sp
Cumin powder  -- 1 tea sp
For serving hand full of chopped coriander leaves and lemon slices and bread.
1. Heat olive oil in a huge pan add bay leaf, onion stir for a while then add ginger, coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder, hot paprika, black pepper give a good stir.
2. Now add chopped carrot, potato, zucchini, lentils, fresh coriander leaves and parsley mix well .
3. In the meanwhile make a pure with chopped tomato and celery and add this tomato pure to vegetables. Mix well and add 4 cups of water (nearly one lit. water).
4. Cover with a lid and reduce the heat to medium heat and cook till lentils and vegetables are done.
5. Now with a help of a potato masher mash the vegetables and lentils lightly. Add 4 or more cups of water. Here the amount of water added is depend on your like whether you like a thin soup or a thick soup. we like a medium thick soup so I add 4 cups of water.
6. Add green pepper, salt to taste and let it cook for 20 more minutes.
7. In the meanwhile mix  flour, lemon juice and 1/2 cup water, caraway and cumin powder mix well and set a side.
8. Add pasta and chick peas cook till pasta become soft. Then add the flour mixture keep stirring cook till soup become thick as require, switch off the heat and add hand full of chopped coriander leaves
Serve hot with lemon wedges.
This soup is traditionally made with meat.
You can add a well beaten egg just before switch off the heat (if you like).  


Srivalli said...

Good to have you back Padma, so good that you are joining I have not seen that movie, though have read abt it..:)..very good choice and dish..nice presentation..

vaishali sabnani said...

Padma good to see you back!!..Lovely soup and very well presented..lovely cup too.

Usha said...

Welcome back Padma! Hope all is well at your end. It is nice to do the marathon with you again. Even I chose Algeria. It was not my first choice and accidentally stumbled on the recipe I made. Anyways, Harira looks delicious and wholesome.

Foodiliciousnan said...

Nice write up. The soup does sound quite filling... Loved the presentation Padma... Waiting for all other recipes from you this month!

Varada's Kitchen said...

A lost of ingredients went in that bowl. I love hearty filling soups on a cold or rainy day. Nice one.

Padmajha said...

Welcome back Padma :).The soup looks so good and lovely presentation too...

Kalyani said...

Welcome back Padma ! Most of these recipes through east and North Africa are so similar that many countries in African countient and nearby countries share this recipe.. Lovely soup..

Harini R said...

Good to see you after a long time! Lovely and flavorful soup.

The Pumpkin Farm said...

am so glad to see you back in action Padma...and this is a wonderful dish to start with especially since you have lived there

cookingwithsapana said...

Harira looks so aromatic and filling , very nicely started the marathon.

Chef Mireille said...

so nice to have you joining us again and this soup looks like a very hearty one pot meal - delicious!!!

Archana said...

Welcome back Padma. The soup looks awesome. I love your presentation.

Priya Suresh said...

Harira is my all time favourite, love it to the core. Btw glad to see you back in Bm Padma, missed u.

Suma Gandlur said...

It is a wholesome, filling soup. I have tried the Moroccan version earlier.

Pavani said...

What a hearty & comforting soup you have there Padma. Looks amazing. Love the mug you served it in.

Unknown said...

I even haven't seen that raj kapoors movie .. glad you are back :) soup looks so comforting and lovely presentation dear !!

Priya Srinivasan - I Camp in My Kitchen said...

That is one comforting bowl of soup!!! looks delicious!!

Gayathri Kumar said...

Welcome back Padma. The soup looks so filling..

Unknown said...

Very comforting soup..Looks tempting..{I have the same set of glasses at home :)}