Harissa is a handy spice to have to hand in the kitchen. Great for livening up soups and stews and stirring into yogurt for a quick and easy dip. My homemade harissa tastes way better than the stuff you can buy in the supermarket.
Harissa is an aromatic spicy paste that hails for North Africa and can be used in loads of different ways from ramping up the flavours in yours recipes to adding as a condiment. I like to mix a little with mayonnaise and spread this on a burger bun or actually add the harissa paste into my burger mix to get that fiery flavour right into the burger itself. You can mix with some olive oil and spread over sweet potato chunks for roasting. It’s excellent with lamb and even good added to simple baked eggs with spinach.
A touch of mint
There are lots of different recipes for harissa out there. I sometimes like to ring the changes with this one by adding about 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh mint after the cooking stage. It is one of those handy little recipes you can get a wee bit creative with yourself and have some fun with.
This homemade harissa will keep well in the fridge for about a week.
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/4 tsp caraway seeds
- 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
- 4 cloves garlic peeled
- 2 large red chillies
- 4 tbsp pasatta or tomato paste
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- pinch salt to taste
- dash of white wine vinegar
- Toast all the spices in a dry pan until they are aromatic, watch that they don't burn.
- Tip from the pan on to a plate to stop them cooking.
- Grind the spices either in pestle and mortar or spice grinder.
- Blitz the chillies and garlic in food processor and add the pasatta, oil, salt and vinegar and blitz again.
- Tip into a small pan and bring to the boil then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the spices and stir well to combine.
- Allow to cool and ladle into a sterilised jar.
- Leave in the fridge for at least 1 hour to allow the flavours to develop.
- Will keep in the fridge for up to a week.
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