Homemade Harissa

I’ve touched on harissa as being an essential part of Libyan cuisine. The small-but-mighty red pepper paste packs a punch (I love alliteration, you can tell!), and is a trademark of the Maghreb region. Today I decided to give it my best try, using English-Jewish chef Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipe. Read on to see the results, and check out the recipe below!

Step #1: Broil the red pepper

Step #1: Broil a red pepper for 25 minutes! Yes, that’s really the time it needs!

Step #2: toast the spices

My coriander and cumin getting toasty together. Admittedly, I forgot the caraway seeds.

Step #3: Crush up the spices. Fry garlic/onion/pepper.

The recipe only says “three red chilis.” I used one habanero and two serrano chilis.

Step #4: Puree with tomato paste, lemon, and olive oil

And you get something like this! So beautiful.

Harissa Recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi

YIELD Makes about 1 small jar
About a generous 3/4 cup / 200 ml)

1 red pepper
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp caraway seeds
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 small red onion, coarsely chopped (scant 2/3 cup / 90 g in total)
3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
3 hot red chiles, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 1/2 tsp tomato paste
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt

Place the pepper under a very hot broiler, turning occasionally for about 25 minutes, until blackened on the outside and completely soft. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to cool. Peel the pepper and discard its skin and seeds.
Place a dry frying pan over low heat and lightly toast the coriander, cumin, and caraway seeds for 2 minutes. Remove them to a mortar and use a pestle to grind to a powder.
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat, and fry the onion, garlic, and chiles for 10 to 12 minutes, until a dark smoky color and almost caramelized.
Now use a blender or a food processor to blitz together all of the paste ingredients until smooth, adding a little more oil if needed.
Store in a sterilized jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or even longer.

taken from Epicurious website: https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/harissa-51185010


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