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There are as many recipes for this spice paste as there are cooks in North africa, but this is my favourite variation.
2 tsp coriander seeds 1 tsp cumin seeds 4 cloves garlic 1-2 hot chillies 1 tsp flaky salt ¼ cup oil 1 tsp cayenne pepper 1 cup tomato purée 2 tsp rosewater or a pinch of sugar
© Annabel Langbein Media
Toast the coriander and cumin seeds in a dry frypan until they just start to pop – watching closely so you don’t burn them. Grind the toasted seeds with a mortar and pestle.
Chop the garlic and chillies and crush them into a paste with the salt.
Return crushed seeds to the frypan, add oil, chilli and garlic paste and cayenne pepper. Sizzle for a few seconds then add tomato purée. Simmer over a high heat for a couple of minutes until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and mix in rosewater or sugar.
Store harissa in the fridge covered with a film of oil – it will keep for a couple of weeks.
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