Harissa claims its roots are in Tunisian but it is very popular everywhere in Northern part of Africa. The key ingredients in a traditional harissa are bird’s eye chili peppers, serrano peppers and other hot chilis and spices such as garlic paste, coriander, red chili powder, caraway as well as some vegetable or olive oil. Other options are of cumin, red peppers, garlic, coriander and lemon juice. It is a very adaptable recipe.
Of course recipes for harissa can vary greatly depending in which region you are in or even in who’s house you are eating it. Usually harissa has a paste like consistency which is added as a condiment to recipes like stews, spreads, sauces and cousous.
The version I will show you here is more like a broth consistency and is super fast to make. The flavors are very basic too so feel free to add garlic or coriander or what ever you like. Add it to a soup for a fiery kick or dip some torn pita in it. Let you imagination run wild. This recipe yields about 1/2 cup but feel free to multiply for larger quantities.
Ξ Express Harissa Ξ
1 1/2tbsp paprika
1/2 tsp bird’s eye chili powder (substitute with cayenne)
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 cup water
juice of 1/2 lime or to taste
In a small pan add the paprika, the bird’s eye chili powder and the cumin. Add the water to the pan and mix well. Bring the mixture to the point of boiling but as soon as bubble appear remove it from the heat – boiling will damage the natural oil essences of the spices. Add fresh lime juice to taste and let cool before serving.
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