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Old Fri, Aug-29-14, 08:15
Kristine's Avatar
Kristine Kristine is offline
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Posts: 20,070
Plan: Primal
Stats: 171/155/155 Female 5'7"
Progress: 100%
Location: Southern Ontario, Canada
Default Harissa (Chili Paste)

This is a North African/Middle Eastern condiment that I tried to recreate after buying a jar at my local supermarket that carries a lot of international food. Unfortunately, it was on the reduced rack and they're not carrying it anymore.

I had a hard time coming up with this recipe: the recipes I found online didn't resemble what was on the ingredients list of the harissa I bought. It was Al Fez brand, FWIW. I could probably find it elsewhere if I look around, and I will do so...

In the meantime, this was delicious. It wasn't quite like what was in the jar, but from what I read on wikipedia, harissa is something that varies according to whoever makes it. Maybe akin to spaghetti sauce. Feedback wanted from folks who are more familiar with harissa!

- 4 + 1 chili peppers - I used ripe Cayennetta chilis that I grew in my garden
- 1 huge red bell pepper - sub 2 small store-bought
- 4 cloves garlic still on the bulb
- 1 tsp each ground coriander and cumin
- 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • Cut the tops off the garlic, place on a square of aluminum foil, sprinkle with a tsp or so of olive oil, and wrap in the foil.
  • Cut the bell peppers and chilis in half. Remove seeds and membranes. Chop one chili to be added at the end.
  • Roast the bell pepper, four chilis and garlic for 30 min.
  • Put peppers in a paper bag or cover in foil for 20 min.
  • Remove the skins from peppers, add pepper flesh to your bowl, food processor, or blender.
  • Add roasted garlic, squeezing it out of its skins.
  • Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.

This turned out more like a dip than a paste like the jarred version. It was definitely milder and less concentrated. I'd probably do 2 or 3 raw chilis next time.

This is delicious on boiled eggs and avocados. A stronger version, like I had in the jar, is fantastic rubbed on chicken before cooking.
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