Do we want to try some harira – that’s the classic Ramadan fast-breaker all over Morocco? Or some baisa, which is a local Berber version? Or both, maybe, why not?


We hesitate. It seems bad enough eating at all, never mind greedily wanting to try both. Which we undoubtedly do. But we needn’t have worried: the Mohammeds are positively encouraging us to eat. We need to keep up our strength for our travels, they say. Of course: the wayfarer waiver. Both it is then!


The harira is meaty and thick, a soup your spoon would almost stand up in, flavoursome mutton and chickpeas, plenty of spices and a good half-dozen kinds of vegetable. Seven kinds, actually, says Mohammed the father. – Annie Hawes ‘A handful of honey’

I was alone, they’d gone off for an all-day outing to the planetarium, not my cup of tea at all. I watched a bit of television, but when that prattish James Martin said dee-cee in a French accent, instead of the perfectly acceptable ‘dice’ for chopping potatoes, I got in a huff and went into the kitchen to deal with the leftover lamb from our supper.  Harira seemed just the thing to make for my astronomers when they returned from their travels.

And I hauled out Al Stewart’s ‘Year of the cat’ … Nancy’d given me an earworm, thanks girlfriend … what a perfect day, one day – who knows? This one’s for you:

I got the harira recipe here:


In other news, our widower continues to lurk. I’m thinking we may as well give him a name and get him his own food bowl. Seems he’s settling in for a long stay.


44 Comments Add yours

  1. halfp1nt says:

    Looks heavenly, Cin.
    I wonder if Hadeda’s do mate for life? It certainly looks like it.

  2. Sounds like a good day. What was on at the Planetarium. I haven’t been for ages. If I’d known maybe I would have gone with them. Nothing stirs the travel imagination more than the idea of what’s out there in the universe 😉

    1. theonlycin says:

      I wrote the post in the afternoon, before they got home. They found the planetarium closed, so went to the War Museum instead.

  3. slpmartin says:

    I had a road runner who lost his mate and would perch on top of the house making the most woeful sounds…he finally stopped after a month…hope your friend gets over his loss sooner.

    1. theonlycin says:

      I hope so too, Charles. Nighty night, sleep tight.

  4. nrhatch says:

    Aah, Year of the Cat. {{Clink}} 🙂

    Hope your astronomer’s enjoyed the Hairira. We’re going to the Planetarium on Wednesday (1) to see what the Night Sky and Star of David looked like over Bethlehem 2000+ years ago; and (2) to learn about the upcoming Lunar Eclipse and Winter Solstice.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Wow, that should be interesting Nancy!

    2. nrhatch says:

      It’s part of the Think and Drink series! With WINE! 🙂

  5. souldipper says:

    Poor little Hadeda. We had a widower swan take up with a widowed Canada Goose. They were completely satisfied with each other’s company. Hope the bereavement doesn’t send you into heart spasms.

    1. theonlycin says:

      I’m tempted to lure some more birds over with breadcrumbs, but then I remember the noise they’ll make …

  6. Tandy says:

    I love James! The dish looks very yummy 🙂 Hope your visitor finds a new mate soon.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Don’t you think ‘dee cee’ is absurd?

      1. theonlycin says:

        bonjour, you did not sleep very long!

      2. nrhatch says:

        Vraiment. Je suis fatigue. {{yawn}}

  7. Lyndatjie says:

    Oh no…. Now I have the earworm… *sulk*

    1. theonlycin says:

      Bwaahahahaha, enjoy!

  8. What a hearty meal – YUM!
    Oh the poor birdie – I am pleased thought that you are giving him his own food bowl.
    🙂 Mandy

    1. theonlycin says:

      That harira is a winner, it will be made often from now on 🙂

  9. Supa says:

    The soup sounds good! poor widower bird.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Meal in a bowl, Sue. Doing a post at the moment from your French book 😀

  10. nursemyra says:

    I love Moroccan food – especially meat dishes cooked in a tagine! Yummmm

  11. Sounds like a lovely way to spend an afternoon on your own. Soup looks fabulous and comforting. Have a great week xx

    1. theonlycin says:

      You too Sunshine 😀 xxx

  12. granny1947 says:

    Poor bird…now you have made me feel sad again!

  13. Tes says:

    My mother-in-law makes a divine harira during Ramdan.
    Ohhh what a poor bird 😦

  14. theonlycin says:

    I’m sure it tastes like heaven Tes 🙂

  15. suzicate says:

    I love hearty soups and stews in this cold weather. Sounds like you’ve already named him “the widower”…

    1. theonlycin says:

      Poor lad, sad name. He disappeared for a bit this afternoon; hope he went courting.

  16. Harira looks great, but I have never heard of an earworm before. It reminds me of a tale in a thick book called A Century Of Creepy Stories about an earwig. I hope fervently your earworm has never spoken with my earwig.

    1. Pseu says:

      Earworms are those pesky tunes that go around and around in your head, Kate….

      1. theonlycin says:

        Spot on Pseu 🙂

    2. theonlycin says:

      I’ve heard of earwigs and hope I never encounter one 🙂

  17. Anyday with lamb for dinner is good.

    Love the bird.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Seems the bird has taken a hike, Jamie.

  18. gospelwriter says:

    Poor birdie. The other birds don’t come around at all while he’s mourning? Interesting.
    I had soup for dinner just now, but it didn’t look half as yummy as your harira, I checked out the recipe site you linked to – hope to try it soon.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Isn’t it a fab website?!

  19. Tokeloshe says:

    Beautiful photos!

    I hope you are collecting some wine labels 😉

    1. theonlycin says:

      Hadn’t thought of that, I really should !

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