Updated: Aug 24
I seem to be on a chili roll recently. Harissa is actually a Tunisian hot chili pepper paste with Baklouti Peppers and roasted red peppers as the main ingredients. Yes, this is originated in Tunisia. I can't find Baklouti Peppers anywhere in Singapore, and I am using some Mexican chilies from La Mexicana.
This chili paste is very versatile and almost in the realm of sambal. If you can't get your hands on any of the mentioned Mexican chilies below, you can use whichever dried chilies that you can find.
Lastly, caraway seeds are a must for that distinct harissa flavor. Do not miss that ingredient out. In closing, I hope you will give this recipe a try.
(Make 1 Pint)
de Árbol, 15
Red Bell Peppers, 2
Cumin Seeds, 1 TBSP
Coriander Seeds, 1/2 TBSP
Caraway Seeds, 1/2 TBP
Garlic, 3 Cloves
Smoked Paprika, 1/2 TBSP
Cayenne, 1/2 TSP
Sumac Powder, 1/2 TSP
Tomato Puree, 2 TBSP
Fresh Lemon Juice, 1/2 Lemon
Sea Salt, Pinch
High Quality Olive Oil, 98g
Cast Iron Skillet / Pan
Rehydrate the chilies in a bowl of hot water. Set aside for 30 mins.
Grill bell peppers on an open fire stovetop until charred all over.
Remove from heat and transfer into a bowl.
Cover with cling film and set aside to steam for 30 mins.
Toast cumin, coriander and caraway seeds on a skillet over medium heat until the aroma permeates your kitchen.
Transfer into a spice grinder and blitz until powder forms. Set aside.
Once the chilies have been hydrated, remove the seeds and transfer into a blender.
*You can leave the seeds on if you desire.*
Remove the charred skins from the bell peppers.
*Do not be tempted to wash it off and it doesn't have to be perfect.*
Remove and discard the seeds as well.
Transfer into the blender.
Add in the toasted spice blend, garlic, paprika, cayenne, sumac powder, tomato puree, lemon juice and salt.
While the blender is blitzing, slowly stream in half of the olive oil.
Blitz until smooth.
Taste and adjust for salt or lemon juice.
Give it a final blitz.
Transfer into a sterilized jar.
Transfer the remaining half of the olive oil into the blender to "clean" up all the leftover nooks and crannies.
Blitz and transfer into the harissa.
Store chilled in the fridge.
It can be kept for up to 1 month.