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Saturday, 30 May 2015

Harissa paste

This makes a lot of harissa paste, so be prepared to freeze it, give it away or put it in everything you cook. So far we've had it in couscous salad and used it to flavour some chicken (would be good used as a marinade for lamb or chicken).

It's pretty easy to do if you have a food processor/blender, and this version involves no cooking.

I bought a big bag of garlic a couple of months ago as it was very economical. However, I noticed the remaining ones were starting to go a bit 'funny', so I thought I'd make something with them rather than compost them.

I used fennel fronds rather than seeds as the stuff grows like a weed at the allotment (I've got 2 baby plants if anyone wants one!). Replace the fronds with fennel seeds or caraway seeds.

We've also got some leeks at the moment so I used that rather than onion, but onion would work just as well. I reckon the amount of leek I used is the same as 2 onions.

Lurking in the fridge I had a jar of very lazy red chilies which I used up, and added to the soaked dried flaked chillies.

Ingredients
44 garlic cloves
4cm fresh ginger
20 red chilies (or 20 tsp flaked red chilies)
2 red peppers, deseeded
2tbsp chopped fennel fronds (or seeds)
130g sliced leek (or onion)
*3tbsp ras el hanout spice blend 
*5tbsp harissa style seasoning
3tbsp ground cumin
2tbsp coriander seeds
1tbsp ground coriander
1tbsp ground cinnamon
200ml oil

Makes about 4 large jars. Easily halved.

Method
If using dried chilies, soak in boiling water for a good 20 minutes.

Toast the coriander seeds until fragrant, then grind to a powder, either with pestle and mortar or in a spice mill.

Peel and chop the fresh ginger and slice the leeks.

Peel the garlic.

Drain the chillies.

Bung all the Ingredients into the food processor and blitz until smooth.

Store in sterilised glass jars topped up with a bit of oil to cover the paste and help it last longer.

Will last about 4 weeks if kept in the fridge. Can be frozen.

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