Servings: 8 Prep: 5 min Cook: 0 min Total: 5 min
I don’t remember where I was when I first tasted Harissa, sad to say. Some part of me just feels like it’s always been there when I’ve needed it. It’s a spicy, exotic, complex blend of spices hailing from Tunisia (Northern Africa).
Harissa is strongly chili based, using the piri piri chile in Tunisia. Mine still has a kick to it, but the spice has dropped back to basic cayenne, while the cumin has really been brought forward. Perhaps it’s not a true Harissa, but I tend to prefer it balanced this way. It’s still pretty fantastic, whatever you want to call it!
Normally, I’m a bit of a purist and prefer my meats and veggies to taste like their natural flavors. However, harissa is so overwhelmingly delicious, that … when I use it on something, IT is what I want to taste! It’s a sumptuous bounty of flavor!
I really can’t think of anything that couldn’t benefit from a dab of harissa. It’s amazing as a marinade and a sauce. It’s great on all meats and fishes. It’s wonderful on veggies. I’ve even drizzled it all over pizza! Probably not great on ice cream, but … that may be its only limitation. Try it. You’ll be glad you did!
Note: Served with a Tunisian Lamb Rack, in the photos.
- 2 tbsp cumin seed ground
- 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp coriander seed ground
- 1 tbsp caraway seed ground
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1/4 cup fresh mint chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped
- 2 tbsp lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 1/2 cup olive oil good quality
- 4 each garlic cloves minced
- In a bowl ... blend.
- Serve with stuff! (Just make sure you stir it, before you serve it. The goodies tend to settle at the bottom.)
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