Breaking the fast
This year’s month of fasting is drawing to an end. Last night was the 27thnight of Ramadan, the sacred night, where prayers are the most fervent, and where children dress in their finest new clothes and go out after dark to enjoy the excitement that is palpable in the streets as the end of fasting approaches.
By Friday, or at the most Saturday, the new moon will appear and the month of fasting, prayer and good deeds will come to an end.
For the last 27 days, Harira, the Ramadan soup that is served in hundreds of thousands of homes all over Morocco every night has been served with Chebakkia, dates, often boiled eggs with cumin and home baked flat bread as the staple to break the fast as sun sets.
In the medina, Canon fire signals the sunset, fired from one of the Borj or fortresses that overlook the ancient city of Fez. The moment is very special, the Canon sounds, the medina goes silent as if in common thanks for having had the willpower to achieve another days fast and for the meal that is to come. Then the sound of the evening prayer surges up from the 250 mosques, and dies down as people eat a date, thank Allah, drink water, milk or fresh fruit juice and slowly start eating their evening meal.
If you are visiting Morocco at this time, you still have a couple of evenings left to enjoy this unique experience. At Eden, the restaurant at Palais Amani, you can break the fast at sunset as staff and guests sit together and enjoy the delicious ritual at the end of the day. If not, then try the recipe at home. It won’t be served for a while in Morocco after the weekend, but it is one of the most famous soups that deserves a try!
Dried chick peas: 400 gr (left to soak overnight in 2 litres of water)
Tomatoes: ½ kg
Stick of celery
100 gr tomato concentrate
1 bunch fresh coriander and 1 bunch fresh flat parsley
100-gr vermicelli pasta or similar
200-gr plain flour
½ teaspoon powdered ginger
1 pinch of saffron
½ glass of vegetable oil
2 litres water
In a saucepan, add the diced onions, carrots celery, the grated tomatoes, chopped coriander and chopped parsley, the chickpeas, the oil and water and all the spices
Leave to cook for 45 minutes.
Mix the flour in a small bowl with a little water until you have a thick paste,
Add this to the soup and stir until completely smooth in the soup.
When the mixture boils add the tomato concentrate and the pasta.
Simmer for a further 20 minutes.
Served with dates and Chebakia.
Bon appétit !!