Harissa (Arabic: هريسة) is a North African hot chili pepper paste whose main ingredients are roasted red peppers, hot peppers and other spices and herbs such as garlic, coriander seed and especially caraway as well as some olive oil for preservation.
It is most closely associated with Tunisia, Libya and Algeria, but recipes for Harissa vary according to the household and region. Variations can include the addition of cumin, red peppers, garlic, coriander, and lemon juice. In Saharan regions, Harissa can have a smoky flavor.
While my Harissa is predominately Tunisian in style, it does include flavor components from other North African regions as well. I’ve included 5 (!) different dried hot peppers plus both fresh and roasted to really layer the flavors into a seamless symphony of tastes! You can of course reduce the number of kinds of peppers or change them to your taste!
You can also dilute the paste into a Harissa table sauce for use on pretty much anything except dessert to add a level of pungent heat and amped flavor to your meal.
Enjoy, my Citizens – I believe you will find this to be an exceptional recipe indeed! 🙂 if you do desire, also try the rare Tunisian green Harissa or even the ultra-rare Harissa made with rose petals!
Battle on – The Generalissimo
3 Cascabel peppers – dried
1 Ancho pepper – dried
3 medium Guajillo peppers – dried
6 Chiles de Arbol – dried
1 New Mexican pepper – dried
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons ground coriander seed
2 teaspoons cumin seed, ground
1 teaspoon black cumin seed, ground (if you don’t have this, just use regular cumin)
2 teaspoons ground caraway seed
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 tablespoon dried mint
1 medium roasted bell pepper from the jar or made fresh – chopped
2 Serrano peppers, chopped
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Juice and zest from half a lemon
Place dried chiles in a bowl and pour boiling water over them. Allow to stand for 30 minutes and discard water. Grind all in food processor with enough oil to make a good paste – be sure and grind SMOOTH. Top off with olive oil and store in the fridge – always make sure it remains covered in olive oil or it may go bad.
To make Table Harissa Sauce from this, if you want it more liquid: Combine 4 teaspoon of Harissa paste with 4 teaspoons H2O and juice of 1 lemon. Serve in small bowl and use as dipping sauce for fish or other meats.