• (شطة تونسية (هريسة •
A simple recipe for tasty Homemade Tunisian Harissa paste that you can make as spicy or as mild as you want.
Harissa is a North African spicy red pepper condiment that is often associated with Tunisian cuisine. It’s a straightforward blend that combines fresh red chilies and various spices, most often caraway, coriander, and cumin. I like to use a mix of sweet and spicy peppers so the end result isn’t excessively spicy. In any case, I always remove the seeds and most of the white ribs inside the peppers where the majority of the pepper’s heat is found. If you can’t take too much heat, simply reduce the ratio of spicy peppers in the recipe. Or increase it to make it extra fiery!
You’ll find so many uses for this delicious paste. Of course, you can use it in your favorite tagine recipe. It’s also great to stir a spoonful of it into soups, stews, or veggie dishes. Slather a small amount onto slices of bread before making a sandwich. Or stir a blob of it into hummus! It keeps for weeks in a jar in the fridge as long as you keep the top covered with a layer of olive oil.
- 2 lbs (around 1kg) of red peppers (I use a mix of sweet and hot---around 1¼ lbs sweet to ¾ lb hot
- 1 bay leaf
- 2-3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 teaspoons coriander
- ½ teaspoon caraway
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- olive oil
- Wash and remove the seeds and ribs of the peppers. In a steamer basket over simmering water, add the bay leaf, peppers, and garlic cloves. Cover and steam on medium-low for 30 minutes.
- After steaming, remove the lid and transfer the peppers and garlic (but not the bay leaf), to a food processor or blender. Add the coriander, caraway, cumin, black pepper, salt, and lemon juice and blend until as smooth as possible. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if you desire.
- Transfer the resulting paste to a clean glass jar and cover the top with layer of olive oil. Keep the paste in the refrigerator and add more olive oil to the top every time you remove some paste.
-The ratio of sweet to hot peppers is totally up to you. I tend to make it on the lesser spicy side so that I can use a big spoonful in cooked dishes without making the end result too spicy. A good rule of thumb is to use around half the amount of hot peppers as sweet.