This harissa recipe is so easy to make at home with a food blender. The warm flavours of roasted peppers and spice, and hot chillies make the sauce irresistible. Homemade Harissa is much more value for money, and it’s always rewarding to make this unique Middle Eastern blend in your own kitchen. Use it as a marinade for grilled chicken wings, mix it in a salad with chickpeas, roasted butternut, and baby spinach, or simply add some of this paste to spice up your avo on toast and other sandwiches.
No doubt the increased interest in the Middle Eastern kitchen, has contributed to the popularity of Harissa. Recipes vary slightly, however the chillies are an essential ingredient. The OmniBlend is a powerful food blender that purees pastes like these with ease. Any kind of (commercial) chilli sauce, is best blended using the 2 liter jug, which has a narrow base (or our 1.5 liter jug with the narrow base). For this recipe we used the OmniBlend I – 2ltr Pro, which is also used in commercial kitchens to blend sauces.
Ingredients (for about 2 cups):
3 Red Peppers
2 Red Onions
3 Cloves Garlic (big cloves)
3 Medium Hot Serenade Red Chillies
1 ½ tsp Coriander Seeds
1 ½ tsp Cumin Seeds
1 ½ tsp Caraway Seeds
4 Tbsp Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
100g Tomato Paste (about 4 tbsp)
1 Tsp Course Sea Salt
A little olive oil
Preheat oven at 250C
Half and deseed the peppers, drizzle some olive oil on top, and place them skin up on a tray. Grill in the oven, for about 10 minutes, keeping close eye on it. It needs to char, but be careful not to burn them completely.
Remove from the oven, and cover with foil or a plate to cool down. Once cooled down, peel the skin off, and discard the skin. Add the peppers to the OmniBlend jug.
Place a dry frying pan over low heat and lightly toast the coriander, cumin, and caraway seeds for 2 minutes. Remove them and add to the OmniBlend jug.
Now heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat, and fry the onion, garlic, and chilies for 10 to 12 minutes, until a dark smoky colour and almost caramelized. Add to the OmniBlend jug.
Add the lemon juice, tomato paste and salt to the jug too, and then start blending. Blend until smooth, add to 1 or 2 glass jars, leave to cool on the counter, then store in the fridge.
We've also used this harissa for Ottolenghi's Pappardelle with Rose Harissa, Black Olives & Capers; replacing the rose harissa with 3 tablespoons of this recipe. It was so delicious, give it a try!