(North African peppers and spice paste)
Harissa is a common spice paste seasoning in the Maghreb of Northern Africa, especially in Tunisia. It is used to add flavor to couscous, pasta, sandwiches and soups, either as a condiment or as an integral ingredient of dishes.
Makes about 3/4 cup
- Paprika -- 1/4 cup
- Cayenne pepper -- 1-2 tablespoons
- Ground cumin -- 1-2 tablespoons
- Ground caraway (optional) -- 1 tablespoon
- Ground coriander (optional) -- 1 tablespoons
- Salt -- 2 teaspoons
- Olive oil -- 1/2 cup
- Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl to form a paste. Will keep fresh for 2-3 months if stored refrigerated.
- The amount and proportion of spices can be varied according to your taste.
- Add 2-3 cloves of garlic or 1-2 tablespoons of tomato paste for a richer, rounder flavor.
- Substitute 3-4 New Mexico, ancho or other dried chilies for some or all of the paprika if you like. Soak the chilies in warm water first to soften them up.