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A North African chili paste most associated with Moroccan food however it originated in Tunisia. It is more common in the Magreb Arabic countries (Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Israel and Libya) In Arabic the word Harasa means to pound, Harissa is chilis pounded with spices, garlic, lemon and oil. It is used in a variety of ways, in soups, stews, dips, condiments and it doesn’t really have any limits as its flavors can compliment such a variety of dishes. It has a peppery smoky flavor and ranges in level of heat. Ours is a well-balanced version of heat and full flavor spices. A traditional variation of harissa is rose harissa. Edible rose petals add a floral aspect to the smoky and spicy notes. You can be so creative with harissa that its only limitation is your hesitation.
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 5 mins
1 garlic bulb – 4 cloves per recipe.
Olive Oil – ¼ cup per recipe. 1 Lemon – juiced
1 can tomato paste – 2 Tbsp per recipe.
This chili paste has such potential that it can be the star in your pantry. Control the heat by omitting some chilis, control your garlic, use your high quality olive oil. Add edible rose petals for floral notes. Once you try it you will have so many ways to use it. Chef Geoff makes a homemade ranch dressing and adds harissa to it. He can’t stop talking about it.
How to make Harissa.
- Prep – with scissors cut chilis below the stem and deseed through the opening. Leave seeds in for a spicier Harissa. Measure ¼ cup Olive Oil and 2 Tbsp of Tomato Paste. Juice 1 lemon. Separate and peel 4 cloves of garlic. Have salt handy.
- Cook – Toast whole chilis in a dry skillet over medium high heat. Keep tossing until chilis become really fragrant. About 2-3 mins. Be Careful not to burn the chilis.
- In a large bowl soak chilis in 4 cups of hot tap water for 20-25 mins until chilis become tender and pliable.
- While chilis are soaking in a small dry saute pan over medium heat add spice packet. Keep moving spices around until just fragrant but not burnt – about 2-3 mins. Grind spices in a food mill or grinder to a fine powder.
- In a food processor or blender add softened chilis without soaking liquid, powdered spice blend, olive oil, lemon juice, tomato paste and salt to taste. Blend until smooth for about 2 minutes.
- Now you are ready to enjoy your Harissa as a marinade, dip, or in your favorite dishes.
- Place in the refrigerator in a non-reactive container or upto 7 days or freeze for upto 2 months.
Servings: Makes 8 oz. of chili paste.
Harissa is spicy, it has spicy chilis mixed with mild chilis. The spices are more subtle like coriander, cumin and caraway seeds that had an earthy flavor. Our Harissa uses Japonese chilis for the heat. You can certainly cut back on them for a less spicy version. Harissa is also used as an ingredient in soups, stews, dips, spreads to add some heat. So eating it on its own is only for the spicy lovers but add a little or a lot to a dish to give it that kick of Moroccan flavor.
- Control sodium levels, heat level, add garlic to taste, use your favorite olive oil.
- Great on a variety of dishes that are vegan or meat based.
Toasting, grinding and mixing is what it takes. Well worth the effort.
- You can find the shelf life of the kit on the sticker on the bag. It will have the batch number and a best by date.
- Prepared Harissa will last 7-10 days for a fresher harissa and longer for a good harissa.