Make your own harissa

I usually buy harissa paste from the supermarket. Belazu’s rose harissa is a favourite. This year, I grew a sizeable crop of chillies in the garden (very easy to do if you fancy a try next year) so I decided to make my own. Dear Reader, it is delicious! Don’t worry if you don’t have home-grown chillis, you can buy supermarket ones and it will still work. Put it in an airtight jar and it will keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks. You could freeze it, just don’t add the oil until after it’s defrosted.

You can serve it with couscous, eggs, bread or roast lamb or in any these previously posted recipes Braised chorizo sausages and vegetables in harissa sauce, Baked chicken in rose harissa sauce, Traybake roast chicken on a bed of chorizo and chickpeas, Hot and sour carrot and chickpea salad, Kisir, Spicy butternut squash hummus, Lamb Zagora (with sausages or lamb neck fillet).

  • 250g fresh red chillies
  • 3 tsps ground cumin
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 large red piquillo pepper, oven roasted, peeled and seeded
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 6 tbsps extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and black pepper

To make…

  • First, prep the chillies – I always wear rubber gloves. Slice them in half lengthwise and gently remove the seeds and then roughly chop the flesh.
  • Roast the pepper on a metal tray at 200C for 20 minutes until the skin blisters. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. The skin should slip off easily. Remove the stalk and seeds. Chop roughly.
  • The next stage is blending. You can do this in a food processor or, I add mine to a large Pyrex jug and use a stick blender.
  • Add the chopped chilli, red pepper, garlic tomato puree and the lime juice. Blend until smooth. Add the spices, salt and pepper and the oil. Mix thoroughly. Taste and check the balance of seasoning.
  • Decant the paste into a screw top or kilner jar. Cover with a little oil and secure the lid. Keep in the fridge until you need to use it.

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About Janet Davies @pigeoncottage

Food lover, author, cook!
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