Category Archives: Soups

Thareed Laham (Flat Bread Layered with Lamb Stew)

Thareed  is another popular dish to make when a Muslim is fasting.  It is very common to make Thareed  for Iftar (breaking of the fast) during Ramadan because it is light on the stomach.  It is basically crispy flat bread layered with a meat soup.  Actually it is a cross between a hearty soup and a soupy stew.  (Does that make sense?)

It is often mispronounced as “Fareed” but the correct way to say it is Thareed.

Thareed is even mentioned in a hadith of the Prophet Mohammed 

Thareed can be made with lamb, chicken, and also with just vegetables.  Today I will give you the recipe for Thareed with lamb and will post the recipes for the chicken and vegetable later on, InshaAllah.

The best bread to use when making Thareed is Khobuz Raqaq which is a crispy wafer-thin bread.

If you live in the UAE you can usually find it in abundance during Ramadan.  There are women who make this early in the morning and will sit out front places like the Co-Op or the fruit and vegetable market selling these for Dh10 a bag.

You could also use Khobuz Irani which is a thin flat bread (about the thickness of tortillas) and this can be bought at any Iranian bakery.  Sorry I don’t have a picture to share of what it looks like.  Here in Sharjah there are many Iranian bakeries which are little hole-in-wall places in the neighborhoods of Ghafiyah andUmmKhanoor.

When I was living in the US, I would substitute Roti which I bought from the frozen food section of an Indian grocery store.  You could also use regular pita bread.  I have never used it before but a friend of mine has.

 This recipe can easily be halved but since it is Ramadan it is nice to share with your neighbors or to feed the poor.

Okay so on to the recipe:

Thareed Laham (serves 8-10)


1 kg (2 pounds) lamb stew meat

1 ½ liters of water (6 cups)

2 cups of finely chopped onions

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tablespoon of corn oil

1 tablespoon tomato paste

2 large potatoes, each potato quartered

4 small koosa (courgettes or  kalabasa squash) each piece cut into half

1 large carrot cut into 4 pieces

4 medium tomatoes, chopped

2 pieces of whole black dried lemons

1-3 pieces of green chili

3 cubes of Maggi

1 tablespoon of Arabic Bizar spice mix

1 teaspoon cinnamon powder

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 teaspoon black lemon powder (loomi aswad)

1 teaspoon curry powder

1 teaspoon coriander powder

1 teaspoon cardamom powder

½ teaspoon black pepper powder

¼ teaspoon red Kashmiri chili powder (or cayenne pepper)

¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped

5 large piece of Raqaq bread or 2-3 pieces of Khobuz Irani (or you can substitue Roti or Pita bread)

(Note:  Tear the Raqaq bread or the Khobuz Irani into large pieces…about the size of the palm of your hand.  Leave the pieces out to air dry on a large platter on your kitchen counter or dining room table.  If you do not have Raqaq bread or Khobuz Irani available, you use Roti or Pita bread.)


In a large pot, boil the lamb meat removing the foam when it starts to boil.  Boil for one hour.

Strain and reserve the broth.

In a large pot, heat the oil and sauté the onions until they get a nice golden brown color.  Don’t burn the onions.  Add the garlic and stir until fragrant.

Add the tomato paste and all of the vegetables, EXCEPT the koosa (squash) mix together to coat the vegetables with the tomato paste.

Rinse the two whole dried lemons and then pierce each one once with a sharp knife.

Add the lamb meat, reserved broth, Maggi cubes, and the remaining ingredients, EXCEPT the koosa and  the chopped cilantro.

Add more water if necessary to make this stew a bit soupy.  Taste for seasoning.

Bring to a boil and then simmer until the potatoes are almost done.  You can now add the koosa (squash) and the chopped cilantro and cook until the koosa is fork tender.


Carefully remove the meat and vegetables from the pot and keep aside on a large platter.

In a large deep sided bowl, add one layer of Raqaq bread (or whichever bread you are using.

Add another layer of bread and ladle some more liquid.

Each layer of bread will be soaking with the liquid from the stew.  None of the bread should be left dry.

Ladle the remaining liquid from the pot onto the bread.

Now you arrange the vegetables and lamb meat over the soaked bread.

You can garnish with a little bit more chopped cilantro if you wish.

Serve and enjoy!

Note:  Thareed is best eaten on the same day.

Print this recipe.

Harira Soup

This soup recipe is originally from Morocco.  I tried this recipe during Ramadan 2008 and all my children loved it.  I made this soup again today because it is rainy and cold outside.  This is an excellent cold weather soup. 

I did not have all of the ingredients so I substituted the cubed lamb meat with ground beef.  Also, I did not have the brown lentils so I substituted it with mung beans and the soup still turned out terrific.  Here is the recipe.  Enjoy!


1/2 kilo cubed lamb (or 1 pound of cubed lamb or ground beef or ground lamb)

1 teaspoon ground tumeric

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 Maggi stock cubes

a pinch of ground red chili powder (cayenne pepper)

3 tablespoons of cooking oil

1 large onion, chopped

medium tomatoes, chopped

1/2 cup cilentro, chopped

8 cups of water

¾ cup brown lentils (or substitute with ¾ cup of mung beans or split green peas)  

 1 15oz can of garbanzo beans, drained

1 cup of vermicelli noodles

Juice of 1 lemon

2 eggs, beaten (optional)


In a large cooking pot, heat the cooking oil and saute the lamb until nicely browned.  Add the onions and sauté until the onions are soft and transparent.  Add the tomatoes, all the spices, lentils, and Maggi stock cubes.  Stir well.  Add the water.  Bring to a boil and then simmer until the lamb is tender (about 2 hours).


Add the can of drained garbanzo beans and the vermicelli.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 30 minutes.


Stir in the lemon juice and the eggs.  Cook for a minute.


Serve hot.  This soup is excellent the next day if there are any leftovers!

Chicken Soup

I experimented with this soup during Ramadan 2008 and came up with a soup that has a very rich taste, and silky texture. It is absolutely delicious. Other ingredients can easily be added to it such as corn, diced chicken breast, mixed vegetables, or vermicelli noodles. The stock for this soup comes from the Fried Chicken Emirati Style and Yellow Rice recipes.

Chicken Soup

Strained stock from the above two recipes
5 tablespoons oatmeal
generous pinch of saffron
juice of one lemon
two Maggi chicken stock cubes (optional)
one cup of vermicelli noodles

The stock that you will have from the Yellow Rice recipe will fill a huge pot. Boil the stock until it reduces to half a pot.

Put the oatmeal in grinder to turn it into a powder. Add water to the oatmeal and stir until there are no longer any lumps. It should be smooth and watery. Add this to the chicken stock and stir with a large whisk.

Add the saffron, lemon juice, stock cubes, and noodles (optional but I like to add it). Stir well. Bring to a boil and then turn the fire to low.

At this point, you can feel free to add a cup of diced chicken breast, 1/2 a cup of corn, or 1/2 a cup of mixed vegetables.

Let simmer for at least 10 minutes so the noodles can cook.

That’s it! Very easy and very tasty. I hope that you enjoy it.