Easy Harissa Paste Recipe
What Is Harissa?
Basically, harissa is a hot, fiery paste, or sauce, that is popular in North African cooking, especially in Tunisia, Algeria and Morroco, and, every household will, more than likely, have its own particular recipe for harissa.
The main ingredients of any harissa recipe are chilli peppers, garlic, cumin and coriander which are combined with oil to give a fiery paste which can be used as a condiment, dip or stirred into dishes such as Moroccan tagines and couscous to give them an aromatic and distinctive chilli flavor.
Of course you can buy harissa ready made, but the recipe is easy to follow and, I think, much more satisfying to make your own.
Ingredients For Harissa Paste
Leave the paste to stand overnight before using, that way the flavours will have chance to develop.
If you have any then you could try adding a few drops of rose water to the harissa paste to give it a sligly more fragrant flavour.
How To Make The Harissa
Cook the chillies on a griddle pan, turning frequently until the skins blacken and the flesh softens.
Remove from the pan and transfer into a plastic bag, seal the bag and allow the chillies to cool. This will make peeling the skin much easier.
Once the chillies have cooled remove them from the bag, take off the stalk and peel the skin, it doesnt matter if you cant get all of the bits off just don't rinse the chillies or you will lose the flavour that they have gained by char grilling them.
Now toast the spice seeds in a dry frying pan, making sure that they don't burn, then grind to a fine powder in a spice grinder or pestle and mortar.
Now, you have two choices, you can either:
Add the chillies, garlic, pepper and salt to the spices and grind to make a paste, using the pestle and mortar
or the really easy way
Put the chillies, garlic, pepper and salt and spices into a mini chopper and whizz until you have a paste.
Stir in the olive oil, tomato puree and lemon juice and transfer to an airtight jar and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.