From Nelsons Kitchen


From Nelson’s Kitchen

Harissa is a spicy paste that is used as a seasoning in other recipes. It can be found in specialized food stores. But the freshly made one with fresh garlic and fresh-toasted whole spices is much superior. This recipe is from

  1. Soften the chiles
    • Place the chiles in a heatproof bowl and barely cover with boiling water. Let stand for 30 minutes.
  2. Toast and grind the spices
    • Toast the caraway, coriander, and cumin in a dry skillet over low-medium heat, shaking or stirring to prevent burning.
    • When the spices are fragrant, immediately remove them from the pan into a coffee grinder.
    • Grind the spices in the grinder to obtain a fine powder.
  3. Prepare the Chiles
    • Drain the chiles, reserving the liquid.
    • Remove and discard the stems and seeds from the chiles. Wear latex gloves to protect your hands.
  4. Make the paste
    • Put the chiles into a small food processor.
    • Peel the garlic and roughly crush with a chef’s knife over a wooden board.
    • Add the ground spices.
    • Add the salt.
    • Process to obtain a smooth and thick paste.
    • While the processor is running slowly drizzle in the olive oil.
    • If you want a thinner paste, blend in a little of the chile-soaking liquid until the paste has reached your desired texture.
  5. Store
    • Rinse a clean jar, and the cover, with boiling water.
    • Transfer the harissa paste to the jar.
    • Smooth the surface and cover the surface with a thin layer of olive oil.
    • Cover the jar and refrigerate. It will keep for up to a month. Add a thin layer of olive oil whenever you use the harissa.