Harissa tastes like a very flavorful hot sauce. The flavors in harissa are not restricted to spicy chilies. In fact, you can make harissa as spicy as possible or as mild as possible. I like to mix different varieties of dried red chilies. In this batch, I have 6 oz. of guajillo chilies and 6 oz. of dried red chilies from the Indian store (which are quite spicy). I know of people who would love to have harissa made at least 50% of dried habaneros (not me). You can make harissa from sundried roasted red pepper and sundried tomatoes as well and skip the chilies. However, a small amount of this condiment adds a ton of flavor to your food.
In addition to the dried chilies, harissa also had roasted spices, garlic and some acid in the form of lime or lemon juice.
I like to use this condiment as a sandwich spread. It tastes great with avocado toast or a veggie burger. It is very versatile and can be even used as a dip by adding a teaspoon of harissa to sour cream or yogurt.
|12||8||6||oz. dried guajillo chiles|
|0||4||6||oz. any other spicy dried chili|
|4||4||4||oz. sundried tomatoes or roasted red peppers|
|1||2||3||tablespoon coriander seeds|
|1||2||3||tablespoon cumin seeds|
|1||2||3||tablespoon caraway seeds|
|2||2||2||tablespoons olive oil|
|1/2||3/4||1||tablespoon of lime juice|
|1||1||1||zest of one lime|
|1/4||1/4||1/4||cup chopped mint|
- Roast the coriander, cumin, and caraway seeds in a dry pan for a few minutes and immediately transfer from the pan to a bowl. Do not keep the spices in a hot pan because they can go from roasted to burnt very quickly. Once they release the smoky aroma, stop immediately to prevent them from burning.
- Soak both varieties of dried red chilies in a bowl of hot water for at least 20-30 minutes until the chilies are softened.
- If you are using sundried tomatoes or sundried red peppers, include them in the soaking process as well.
- While the chilies are soaking, heat the oil in a small container on an extremely low flame and add the garlic to gently cook them until the raw smell is somewhat reduced in about five minutes.
- Zest the lime and keep aside.
- Once the chilies have softened, drain and add to blender along with spices, garlic and oil. Blend to a consistency you like. I like mine smoother to use as a sandwich spread.
- Transfer to a large bowl and add lime juice, zest and chopped mint and mix thoroughly.
- At this point, divide the harissa into smaller containers (enough for a couple of days’ worth) and spoon a small amount of oil over the top before freezing the container.