Harissa paste is a Tunisian hot chilli pepper paste, the main ingredients of which are roasted red peppers, Baklouti peppers or Serrano peppers, spices and herbs such as garlic paste, coriander seeds, cumin and olive oil to carry the oil-soluble flavours. It can be enjoyed over squash or carrots with fennel. It can also be used with a lemon salad dressing or together with a Beef Hamburger as a condiment. If you love spicy and smokiness, this is for you
Add dried chilies to a mixing bowl or measuring cup and cover with hot water.
Once submerged, cover and steam for 15-20 minutes to rehydrate and set aside.
In the meantime, add cumin and coriander seeds to a small skillet and toast over medium heat for a few minutes, or until fragrant and they start to pop.
Then transfer to a mortar and pestle (if you dont own one, just add to a food processor to mix later), and crush into a fine powder.
Next add the minced garlic and salt, and mix until youve achieved a paste. Transfer paste to food processor.
Once chiles are rehydrated, drain and remove the stems and seeds (I recommend wearing gloves to protect your hands), then add to food processor. At this point, all ingredients (besides olive oil) should be in the food processor.
Blend for 1-2 minutes, scraping down sides as needed until a smooth paste is achieved.
Then stream in the olive oil while blending to create a saucier consistency.
Add more oil (or water) as needed until desired consistency is achieved.
Taste and adjust flavour as needed, adding paprika for smokiness, or cayenne pepper for taste.
If its not spicy enough at this point, you can add more chillies (rehydrated and seeds removed).
Scoop paste into a jar to store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.