Harissa for the brave heart or err…. for the brave tongue !!!
This is a Tunisian Hot Chili Peppers Sauce, but now making inroads into the Moroccan Cuisine. It is a combination of various types of chillies. Both fresh and dried. Traditionally Harissa uses roasted red peppers, serrano peppers and other hot chilli peppers. however the recipe goes on evolving according to the region you are in, and the availability of the the types of peppers. Actually not just the region, it varies from household to household too. Some like it smooth as a paste, some like is coarse, and some like a specific variety of chilli flavour more than the others.
Harissa works as a hot sauce, a dip or a marinade. If you are someone who can handle a tad bit of spiciness then go ahead try it in all its pureness as a dip or else, mix it with cream cheese, or honey or mayo as you like it. We at home can handle that kind spice though I like to use another dip or spread as a base and use the harissa as a garnish.
1 Red Bell Peppers
2 Fresh whole red chillies (the fat varieties – the ones used for pickles)
2 Dried Kashmiri Deghi Mirchi ( the thin crinckled chile, deep red in colour)
2 Dried Tarvati (the thin smooth dried red chilli with a bright red colour)
1 Dried Reshampatti chillies ( the dried fat chilli with a thick fleshy skin)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup Boiling Water
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1. Put all the dried chillies in hot water and let it soak for 20 minutes, till they soften. Reserve the cilli water.
2. Once the chiles are softened, put them in a blender along with the fresh chillies, red bell peppers, salt, garlic and lemon juice. Blitz till you get a smooth puree`. If it looks a little too thick for your liking, add the reserved chilli water to thin it down a bit.
3. Now slowly dribble the olive oil and blitz a little more.
4. Transfer in a jar and refrigerate or use immediately.
– Mix with mayonnaise
– Mix with hung curd
– Serve as it is
Spice it up !!