Tuesday, August 19, 2014


Harissa is a North African condiment that's got one of the most addictive flavour profiles! And, it's just at home on a slice of bread as in a complex stew or sauce. That's what makes it so brilliant! So if you like flavour with a punch, look no further! You can use any combination of dried chile types, and adjust the quantity to suit your taste and spice level. 

I have a general obsession with condiments and dips - a few, even one excellent condiment can elevate the simplest of ingredients to another level. I like having various types of condiments like harissa, pestos, salsas, salad dressings, dipping sauces, nut butters etc. around so I can make a quick meal with pretty much any fresh vegetable or fruit, cooked grains, eggs, leftovers, etc. Like this sandwich I made (photo above) with harissa and some leftover lamb meatballs with spicy tomato sauce I'd made for a dinner party (not-so-great photo below).

makes: 1 cup

- 8-9 dried chiles de arbol or cayenne
- 2 chile guajillo
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon 
- 1 lemon, juiced 
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (optional)
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 tsp. coriander
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika (optional)
- 1 tbsp. caraway seeds
  1. On medium-low heat, dry-roast the chiles in a skillet without burning them (or they'll taste bitter). Transfer to a bowl filled with enough hot water to submerge the chiles, and add the sun-dried tomatoes. Set aside for 10-15 minutes. Drain and remove the chile stalks.
  2. In the same skillet, dry-roast the caraway seeds. Let them cool.
  3. In a blender jar, add the drained chiles and all other ingredients and blend to a smooth paste.
  4. Transfer to a container and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.