Harissa

Harrissa is a North African chilli sauce that is often used to flavour meat or veggies but you can use it on whatever you would use a chilli sauce on. I marinate chicken in it mostly but it is delicious with some hot smoked salmon and poached eggs for brekkie too. Chillies contain a health benefiting alkaloid compound in them, capsaicin, which gives their strong spicy pungent character. Early studies suggest that capsaicin has anti-bacterial, anti-carcinogenic, analgesic and anti-diabetic properties. It also found to reduce LDL cholesterol levels in obese individuals. This makes about 2 cups Harissa paste. I keep half in the fridge and freeze the other half.

1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp caraway seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
200g red chili peppers, roughly chopped (remove seeds if you don’t want to burn your mouth off, I left half with seeds in and half without)
1 small red capsicum, roughly chopped
1 garlic bulb, peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 a bunch of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
1 tbsp dried mint
1 tsp salt
olive oil

Method
Roast coriander, caraway, and cumin seed in a dry pan for about 2 minutes and ground in a pestle and mortar. (The smell of this will be incredibly fragrant!)
Put the ground spices, all the other ingredients, and about 2-3 tbsps of olive oil in a mixer or food processor. Blend until you get a thick paste. Fill into a sterilized jar and you are good to go.

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