Originally from Tunisia, harissa is a delicious red pepper spice now accepted in Moroccan cuisine.
Harissa is sometimes added with other ingredients during cooking, but most of the time it is offered as a spice.
Serve with tagine by placing a small spoon on the side of the plate; you can spread the bread with chili paste before moving on to meat, sauce, and vegetables.
- 2 large handfuls (about 3.5 ounces) of dried red peppers
- 4 cups of boiling water
- 3 or 4 large cloves of garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- A pinch of olive oil
- Optional: 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- Optional: 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- Optional: 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Preparations and Instructions
- Dried peppers remove the stems and seeds and place them in a bowl.
- Pour boiling water over pepper; Allow the peppers to soften for 30 minutes to an hour.
- While the peppers are soaking, heat the pan over medium heat until hot.
- Add the whole spices and toast until fragrant, stirring constantly, about 1 minute.
- Remove the pan from the heat and season with a grind and spice grinder. Set aside.
- Drain the peppers and gently shake off the excess water with a paper towel.
- Grind peppers, garlic, salt, and spices with a mortar and pestle (or blender or mini food processor) to make a paste.
- Add the lemon juice and enough olive oil to moisten the harissa to the desired consistency. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
- Keep unused harissa in a hermetically sealed glass container. For longer storage, lightly coat harissa with a little oil before closing.