As promised in my last post, I’m sharing the recipe for Harissa that I found in Marcus’ book, ‘Marcus Off Duty’. I don’t know if I’ve ever had harissa, it’s possible that it was mixed into a dish I’ve had. But this was the first time I truly had harissa and it was amazing! I googl-ed harissa and realized that there are a number of variations. I think that’s kind of the best part about this condiment, you can have different kinds of harissa and tailor it to your taste-buds. The biggest key to any recipe though is to use a mild chile powder, else it can be quite difficult to incorporate into a dish or use as a condiment. I didn’t have aleppo pepper and the only true chili powder I did have was an Indian one my mom gave me that is insanely spicy.
So I decided to use a mix of cayenne and paprika. Cayenne is pretty spicy, but mixing it with paprika was actually perfect. It had a little kick but didn’t overwhelm me with the burn. You can research other kinds of pepper/powder to use, but I found this worked perfectly and both the powders are very easy to find in grocery stores.
What can you use harissa for? Well for starters, the recent paella I made derived all it’s flavors from the harissa alone! You can use it as a rub for meats, flavoring for grains like rice or quinoa, add it to a stir fry… the sky is the limit. It’s quite versatile and a nice change from my Asian and Indian sauces/flavorings. Hope you enjoy this as much as I do!
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup mix of cayenne pepper & paprika (or 1/2 cup of any mild chile powder)
- 2 garlic cloves - minced
- 1/2 Tbsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp fennel seeds - ground
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp mint - chopped
- Heat the olive oil in a small saute pan over medium heat.
- When oil heats up and starts to shimmer, add the garlic and cook until golden (about 3-4 minutes).
- Remove the pan from heat and add the cayenne/paprika mix, ground coriander & fennel, salt and the chopped mint.
- Mix well and let it cool.
- Use immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
- For the cayenne pepper & paprika mix, I used a 50-50 ratio. Please adjust the ratio based on your preference of spice level. Harissa is typically made with a mild chile powder.
- Store unused harissa in an airtight container and refrigerate. It should keep for 2 weeks in the fridge.