Harissa is a fiery Tunisian chili paste that is also commonly used in Moroccan cooking. It’s comprised of dried chiles, olive oil, garlic and spices. It’s easy to make and I like to make my own because the flavors are so much fresher and more vibrant than store-bought (which can be challenging to find anyway). It will add flavor, color, and kick to your dishes. It stores in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.
Try the harissa in this delicious Moroccan Chicken, Apricot and Almond Tagine.
Or in these fabulous Spicy Moroccan Veggie Burgers
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- 16 dried red chilies (New Mexico and guaijillo chilies work well), seeded and stemmed
- 1⁄4 teaspoon caraway seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Put the dried chiles in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let them sit for 20 minutes. Heat a small skillet over medium heat and dry roast the caraway, coriander, and cumin seeds, frequently stirring them, until very fragrant, about 4-5 minutes. Let them cool completely and then transfer them to a spice or coffee grinder and grind them to a fine powder.
- Next, drain and squeeze the chiles to release as much liquid as you can. Add them to a food processor along with the ground spices, olive oil, garlic, salt, and lemon juice. Process to a smoth paste. Add more olive oil if it’s too dry. Transfer the paste to a glass jar and pour some extra olive oil on top, about ¼ inch in depth. After each use, top it off with olive oil. Keep refrigerated. Will keep up to 3 weeks.