My grandmother used to make the perfect harissa: not too hot or overly spiced, just the perfect quantity of each spice. She used to use it in sandwiches and on the side of traditional dishes. My husband likes to put harissa on just about anything he eats. One day he discovered the beautiful and tasteful combination of harissa and ketchup when he added both to his burger sandwich. After that day, ketchup alone was never the same. My grandmother, who knew nothing about ketchup yet a lot about harissa added hers to Moroccan couscous, chicken tagines, fish and to the famous Moroccan cooked salads, like one of my favorites, Spicy Carrot Salad. For those of you, who are not familiar with harissa, it is a Moroccan spicy paste, made of dried red chili peppers and small hot chili peppers and spices. You can buy the peppers in Middle Eastern stores and even in some supermarkets (I buy them at Whole Foods). —Shelly's Humble Kitchen
10 - 12
dried red california chili peppers
2 - 4
small red hot chili peppers
cloves garlic, minced
ground caraway seeds
In This Recipe
Cut the peppers stems and remove the seeds (it’s ok to leave some), discard. Put the dried peppers in a big metal bowl and pour the boiled water on the peppers until they are covered (you can place a plate to prevent them from floating). Soak for 15 minutes and drain. Put the peppers in a salad spinner and dry them as much as possible.
Put the peppers in the food processor with the garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, spices, salt & pepper and process until you get a a little chunky paste (don’t over process it).
Put the harissa in a jar or in a container, drizzle some olive oil on top, to keep it fresh, and keep in the refrigerator up to one month. I usually make more then one jar, so I put the rest in plastic containers and store them in the freezer.