Friday, 5 August 2011

Harissa Paste

Every so often I find myself with an over abundance of an ingredient. More often than not it's because my grandfather was a bit over enthusiastic and gave me far more than I needed. He has several chilli plants and I found myself with a glut of the hot little devils not too long ago. I'm a bit of a chilli fiend and I always like having a fast an easy way of getting a bit of heat into whatever I'm eating. A great way of doing this is with a pungent and intensely hot Harissa paste.

You will need:
10 Chillies (more or less depending on how hot you like it)
5 Garlic cloves
2 Shallots
2 peeled Tomatoes
2 table spoons each of Caraway, Cumin and Coriander seeds 
Olive oil
A blender

The paste is pretty simple to make. Just throw all of the ingredients into the blender and go. The spiced do need to be toasted and ground first though. This is to open up the flavours and make the paste as pungent as possible. Do ensure to add salt and pepper and enough olive oil to bring it all together. Once the paste is blended to a smooth paste put it in a wide pan and cook over a medium heat until it thickens up and dries out a bit. Let the paste cool down, put it in a jar and cover the top with olive oil. It keeps in the fridge for a long time. I made mine a couple of months ago and I’m still going with it. I little bit of this stuff goes a long way.

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