Sunday, February 3, 2013

Homemade Harissa by Colleen Guenther

I don't know about you, but the Harissa that you buy in the stores, already made, is really not very good. I mean, not good at all. In general, it's always quite dicey to purchase any pre-made sauces/dressings from the grocery store as you never know what you are going to get. On top of that, it can be a very pricey disappointment too.

Harissa, a classic Moroccan chili sauce, is one of those sauces that you could really put on anything. My favorite is on rice and fried macaroni noodles, koshary style. I'll hopefully make that recipe soon to share, but really, you could put it on sandwiches, wraps, in salads, soups.... whatever your heart desires. Today I just felt like making a batch so that I had it readily available in the fridge when the mood struck me. Making one batch can last in your refridgerator for up to 3 weeks.

What you Need:
1/2 tsp. whole cumin seeds
1/2 tsp. whole caraway seeds
1/4 tsp. coriander powder
1 handful fresh cilantro
Juice from 1-2 limes
1/4-1/2 tsp salt
4 dried pasilla peppers
1-3 dried arbol peppers (the more the hotter)
1 guajillo pepper


First, de-stem and hydrate your peppers in hot, boiling water for 30 minutes. Boil the water first and then turn off the heat before placing your dried peppers in the water. While the peppers are hydrating, toast your cumin and caraway seeds in a dry hot sautee pan on medium for a minute or two until they begin releasing their scents. Once done, mortar and pestle your seeds along with the coriander powder. If you have coriander seed, use that instead and heat them up like the others prior to mortaring them. Once the seeds and peppers are ready, mix with everything else in a food processor until it makes a nice paste. Add more salt and lime juice to taste. Enjoy, on everything!

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