This hot sauce, which varies from village to village in Tunisia, Morocco and even Algeria, is delicious on falafel and grilled meat. And a teaspoon of it is said to be able to cure the worst cold.
Make Ahead: The harissa needs a few days' refrigeration before it is ready to be served. It can be refrigerated, tightly covered, for up to 3 months.
Servings: 1 cup
- 4 ounces (about 18 total) dried hot red new mexico chile peppers
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
- 7 medium or 8 cloves garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt, or to taste
- Taim Falafel Two Ways, With Roasted Red Pepper Tahini
- Harissa Squash and Feta Galette
- The Turlafel
- Spiced Chickpeas and Haricots Verts on Grilled Bread
- Roasted Eggplant Dip
Cut off the stems and soak the peppers in warm water until soft; drain and squeeze out any excess water. Grind them, as North African Jews do, in a meat grinder, or puree in a food processor, along with 1/4 cup of the oil, the garlic, cumin, coriander and salt. The consistency should be a thick puree, the color of deep red salmon. Transfer to a jar and pour the remaining oil on top. Cover tightly and refrigerate for a few days before using. Taste and adjust salt as needed before serving.
When it is ready to use, the harissa will appear less opaque. Use sparingly, as it is quite potent.
Adapted from Joan Nathan's "The Foods of Israel Today" (Knopf, 2001).
Tested by Jane Touzalin.
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