Harira with chickpeas and the last of the pumpkin

I made this North african inspired stew last night and it was a real winter warmer.


In a large saucepan I  warmed some coconut oil and braised the lamb (two leg steaks chopped in small pieces) then set it to the side and put the chopped shallots and celery stalk to fry till soft.


In the meantime, in a small non stick frying pan, I dry roasted a heaped tablespoon of turmeric, the same amout of cumin powder, a teaspoon of cumin seeds and a teaspoon of ginger powder.


I blended the mixture in with the shallots and celery, then added the chickpeas and some salt. I stirred for a couple of minutes, put the passata in, stirred some more, added the chopped garlic and smoked paprika, then let it cook for 20 minutes.


After that I added the lamb, the  last of the pumpkin flesh from Friday’s carvings (about a kilo of it), covered it with vegetable stock and chucked in half of the chopped parsley leaves and all the stalks. I let it cook for another hour, stirring occasionally and checking how the soup gradually thhickened, the water becoming more dense from the cooked chickpeas and dissolving pumpkin.


The smell of cumin first was overpowering then became tamer, giving in to all the other aromas, the garlic, the parsley, the smoked paprika. the lamb. The result – served with the remaining parsley leaves, the mint and and the juice of a quarter of a lemon in each bowl – was just what we needed after the first really cold day of autumn. While we were eating it, we decided to light up the wood burning stove. And the rest of the night carried on, in the glow of the harira.


One tablespoon of coconut oil

2 lamb steaks, choppped in pieces, or some diced lamb with fat in,

2 large shallots

1 celery stalk

One heaped tablespoon of turmeric

One tablespoon of cumin.

One teaspoon of cumin seeds

One teaspoon of ginger powder

200g dried chickpeas, soaked for 12 hours


300g passata

One kilo of pumpkin flesh

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

One teaspoon smoked paprika

A big handful of fresh flat leaf parsley, stalks in and chopped

A small handful of fresh mint, chopped

Two lemon wedges


Health score: 8



Carolina Stupino

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