Harissa paste is a fiery and fragrant North African red chilli paste that has become a staple homemade condiment in our house since first trying it at a Congolese restaurant many years ago.
Made with a simple ingredients, including peppers, chillies, tomato, garlic, olive oil and a few warm spices, harissa paste packs a punch with its distinctive mix of strong and pungent flavours.
Start off slowly and then ramp up to match your appetite for spice. Add a dash to your dishes or dab some on the side of your plate. A little goes a long way!
Making your own harissa paste is incredibly easy and once you get used to the edge that harissa adds to your cooking, you won’t want to stop using it.
A jar of harissa paste will keep in the fridge for at least 6 months but put that expiry date out of your mind – it’ll be finished long before then!
Unlike sweeter or sharper condiments you may usually turn to, harissa goes wonderfully with everything, so when it comes to experimenting, don’t hold back:
- Use it in the same way you would use peri-peri sauce on chicken, with some preserved lemons, to make a harissa chicken.
- Add it to marinades and stir it into sauces, especially tomato sauces for pasta.
- Mix it into yogurt for a spicy, smoky dip.
- Toss it into roasted veggie trays and over grilled vegetables.
- Plop a spoonful on top of your hummus.
- Stir it into softened butter and slather it on grilled steak.
- Use it to form a crispy coating on grilled fish.
- Spread it on chicken mayo sandwiches.
- Add it to avocado toast, with a drizzle of lemon juice.
- Mix it into burger patties for an earthy, peppery kick.
- Add it as flavouring right through couscous.
- Spice up a Bloody Mary with a hint of harissa instead of hot sauce.
With so many ways to enjoy harissa paste, the only delay should be to figure out whether to make one bottle or three. Your tastebuds are in for a big surprise!
Fiery Aromatic Harissa Paste
- 250 g long red chillies
- 80 ml ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 Shallots thinly sliced
- 4 garlic cloves thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp each of cumin, fennel and coriander seeds
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tsp caster sugar
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 3 tsp salt flakes
- Preheat oven to 200 °C
- Place chillies in a single layer on a large baking tray.
- Roast for 20-25 minutes turning over once, until slightly blackened.
- Meanwhile heat oil in a medium size frying pan over a low heat.
- Add shallots and garlic and cook stirring occasionally for 4-5 minutes until translucent
- Stir in tomato paste, seeds and caster sugar, cook for 2-3 minutes until tomato paste is slightly caremelised.
- Remove from the heat and cool for 10 minutes.
- Remove the green tops from the chillies
- Add the shallot and spice mixture to a blender.
- Add the vinegar roasted chilli and salt flakes and whizz to a paste
- Transfer to a sterilised jar.
- Harissa can be stored in the fridge for up to 6 months
Nothing beats the strength and durability of an original, German-made Weck jar. Elegantly designed with a wide mouth for easy cleaning, these jars are perfect for smoothies, canning, preserving and fermenting, or for any other dry or wet goods in your kitchen and fridge.