Iftar cream soda and harira

Fasting all day during the long summer month and looking for a refreshing drink to be followed by a hot, satisfying meal to warm you up as all of your blood leaves your extremities to go clock into work in your empty belly and you are freezing cold*?  Then look no further.  Try Baji and Son’s Revitalizing Tonic Iftar Cream Soda!

Step one: One full glass of seltzer water or club soda.  I like Vintage because it’s cheap and easy, like my men.

Step two: One good shot of flavored syrup.  I like Monin’s Raspberry Syrup because it’s delicious and the bottle is lovely to look at.

Step three: One teaspoon of sweetened condensed milk in a tall glass with a tall spoon.  I like Eagle Brand because that’s the only brand they used to sell at my old grocery store and I’m nothing if not a creature of habit.

Step four: Stir, add ice if so desired, and chug-a-lug.

You must be shivering by now and staring at your blue-tipped fingernails, weighing the options of getting under the covers for a quick catnap that results in a stupor that knocks you out until 2 a.m. when you awake ravenous and groggy versus getting some food in your system to help you deal wrestle the wee ones who, while you were not looking, totally got their second wind and are nowhere near calming down enough for bedtime.  Solution?  Harira!  We have taken the recipe from The New York Times The Washington Post (suck it, NYT!) and rebooted (isn’t that the flavor of the day word these days?) it so that it’s faster, tastier, more bionic than before.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 pound cubed meat (lamb, beef, etc.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 1/2 cup diced tomatoes [Pomi is the best]
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 1/2 cups chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained
  • 3 tablespoons flour or corn starch mixed with 1/2 cup water
  • handful of vermicelli pasta, broken
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice


In a small pot, boil the lentils in about 3 cups of water, skimming if necessary, for about 20 minutes.  Meanwhile, in a large pot, melt olive oil and butter. Add meat and brown well on all sides, about 5 minutes on high heat.  Add onion and garlic, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add turmeric, black pepper, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and cayenne and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Add chickpeas, lentils, and 8 cups of water and simmer for 30 minutes.
Add tomatoes, tomato paste, parsley and cilantro. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.
Increase heat to medium-high. Add flour mixture and the pasta. Cook until pasta is al dente, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to a simmer. Taste for seasoning. In a small bowl, whisk eggs with lemon juice and stir into the soup. Ladle into bowls and serve.

*fun fact: 1/3 of our blood supply goes to support digestion immediately after eating.  hence the chilly digits.


4 responses to “Iftar cream soda and harira

  1. speaking of gorgeous and delicious… yum. but that bionic soup has 19 ingredients too many (you may keep butter).

  2. this is much fancier than my cocktail:
    3/8 of a glass of orange pineapple juice (cold)
    3/8 of a glass of club soda (cold)
    2/8 of a glass of tap water (tepid)

    this may also be mixed in a bpa-free nalgene bottle and be drunk whilst driving to the hospital at 4:45 am.

    be sure to urinate [at least] once before presenting patients at the 7 a.m. gynecologic oncology conference, as you’ll may be squirming in your seat if not. (not that i’ve done that…)

  3. gj – why can’t i insert a page break after the pix so the text doesn’t look all stupid like up there?

    oz – sounds pretty good actually. squirming side-effects notwithstanding.

  4. gj – i fik it! no more ‘possibly related posts’!

    “Hide related links on this blog, which means this blog won’t show up on other blogs or get traffic that way”

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