If you are looking for a condiment that multi-tasks while tasting stand-alone delicious, then look no further. I have been making this variation of harissa for years, and it's positively addicting.
Harissa is a red pepper sauce traditionally found in North African cuisine. Used as a condiment in Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco, harissa is a paste of hot red peppers combined with other ingredients which vary from home to home and by region. In this version, serrano or red jalapeno chiles are blended with roasted red bell peppers which add smoky sweetness to the fiery chiles.
The beauty of harissa is its versatility. It may be used as a garnish, marinade or dip. Stir it into soups and stews or mix it with couscous and rice. Serve it as an appetizer with veggies for dipping or bread for mopping. It elevates anything it garnishes and is guaranteed to fire up your tastebuds.
The consistency of this harissa will resemble a salsa. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
2 large red bell peppers, roasted, peeled and seeded, coarsely chopped
2-3 small red serrano or red jalapano chiles, stemmed, minced with seeds
3 garlic cloves
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Fresh coriander and/or mint leaves
Toast cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and caraway seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat until aromatic, about one minute. Transfer to a mortar with pestle or spice grinder. Grind seeds to a fine powder. Combine ground seeds, red peppers, chiles, garlic and 1 tablespoon olive oil in bowl of food processor. Process until smooth, adding more olive oil, if necessary, to desired consistency. Add salt and pepper. Let sit at least one hour and up to 24 hours before serving. (Refrigerate before use.) Serve garnished with coriander or mint leaves.
Try serving Harissa with these TasteFood recipes: