I started writing this post about two months ago, originally to be published during Ramadan. Then we had meetings to attend, mountains to climb, and other fun which got in the way.
I’m sorry I forgot about you, Harira! It’ll never happen again!
Harira is a soup, and a featured part of the fast-breaking meal, l-ftur, during Ramadan. You can also get a bowl of it (or a tub to go, if you bring your own tub) anytime of the year. It goes particularly well with milwi bšHma, in my opinion.
But, what is Harira? Here’s a link to a Harira recipe, check it out. There’s all kinds of tasty things in it: tomatoes, garbanzos, split peas, spices, and don’t forget the fresh cilantro, parsley, and celery. These last three seem to be a must have, very important! Many stands in the market only sell them together, or at least the cilantro and parsley. But, there are times when we go to the market just needing cilantro… my wife and I have argued this on at least one occasion.
Us: “1 bunch of cilantro, please”
Market lady: “It’ll be 2 dirham for cilantro and parsley”
Us: “Thank you, but we only want cilantro, no parsley”
Market lady: “But they go together, you know? For Harira?”
Us: “Yes, we understand, but we really just want the cilantro. We don’t want any parsley today.”
Ramdom lady behind us: “Oh poor things, they don’t understand.”
Us: “No, we do understand, we just don’t want parsley!”
The conversation carried on like this a whole longer before we gave up and bought the parsley. My point is, though, that parsley and cilantro are both so integral to Harira that it can be difficult to buy one without the other. As I finish writing this my stomach is growling and I can’t wait for cooler months and Harira weather!