HARISSA

January 5, 2014

Harissa is a really versatile Northern African chili sauce that packs a delicious punch to many kinds of food. It's my favorite way to eat chilies! Each time I make it, it turns our a little different depending on what kind of chilies, spices and herbs I have on hand, and also whether I can remember the recipe! 

I use Harissa on everything from meats (it loves lamb), on sandwiches (your ham and salad sangos will never be the same), dolloped onto veges, in cous cous, in salad dressing, on chicken wings (or any other chickeny bits), on pizza and on fish. There is a fantastic Lebanese dish called Samke-hara, which literally translated means "hot fish" (hara means hot). You bake a firm white flesh fish in the oven, set aside to cool; once it has cooled, liberally slather with Harissa - this dish is mouth wateringly delicate and deliciously flavourful.

I made some Harissa today with fresh chilies I pilfered from my father's vege garden over Christmas. Use whatever chillies you have to hand, but make sure you taste the chilies you are going to use (have a glass of milk handy!), as you need to know how firey they are. My father grows medium heat chilies. They are hot, but not bowl-me-over firey, so I only removed the seeds from half my recipe quantity. If I had of used red birds eye chilies, I would have removed all seeds. More seeds = more heat.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups fresh red chillies, de-stemmed and de-seeded to taste

  • 1 head (bulb) garlic with all cloves peeled. I prefer Moore Wollombi Garlic.

  • 1 tbsp ground coriander

  • 1 tbsp ground cumin

  • 1 tbsp dried mint

  • 1 tbsp salt

  • 0.5 cup fresh coriander chopped

  • 0.5 cups of oil

 

Method:

  1. Place all ingredients into your food processor with half the oil

  2. Process until you reach your desired consistency*. Add more oil if the mix is too dry.

  3. Store in a jar in the fridge with the remaining (or more) oil. Each time you remove Harissa from the jar, make sure what is left is covered with oil. Once you have run out of Harissa, use the oil in your cooking to impart fabulous flavor.

* I like my Harissa texture to be a bit chunky, a little like pesto. If you prefer a smooth paste, process until you reach your desired texture.

Enjoy! <3
Rita x

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