I made Ottolenghi's A.M.A.Z.I.N.G mushroom pies for Christmas day. It's a little bit of a long winded recipe, but not particularly difficult.
I did however have a heart stopping moment mid-cook, (on CHRISTMAS DAY!) when the harissa I thought was safely in the spice cupboard turned out to be Ras el Hanout. A totally different spice mix altogether! ARGH!!
Fortunately t'interwebs saved the day. It turns out that this fragrant middle-eastern chilli & spice mix is easy to make, and varies from village to village, and even household to household. So - I got out my trusty mortar & pestle, and pulled out all the spices in the cupboard and lo & behold, I had all the main ingredients! Hurrah! Christmas was saved!
The recipe specified whole dried chilli, which I didn't have... I DID however have a whole jar of semi-dried chillis in oil which I had previously made from our very own Locoto Chillis. Which I used - obviously. I made a small amount because I was unsure whether it would turn out or not. It was DELICIOUS!
So I've made more.. Obviously. And it has turned out to be quite the best thing ever.. I think pretty much every post for the foreseable will be made with Harissa. ( OK- not EVERY post- but a lot of them will!)
If you can't be bothered to DIY... harissa is readily available (in the UK at least) in posher supermarkets and middle-eastern delis.
I urge you to DIY however.. you can then add other spices, or lemon juice..or preserved lemon peel...( which reminds me- I made loads last year and haven't used any...I feel another idea coming!)
Makes approx 4 TBS.. or enough for agggggges.
- 8- 10 chillis ( or more if they are little ones) - I used our oil drenched semi dried chillis. It's traditional to use dries chillis that are re-hydrated in warm water.
- 5 garlic cloves
- 1 heaped tsp coriander seeds
- 1 heaped tsp caraway seeds
- olive oil ( about 1 Tbs)
- Bash everything really hard in a mortar & pestle until it's a paste.
- Or just use a food processer. But what's the fun in that?
- Store with a drizzle of oil over the paste until you use it up.. use it carefully.. it's SPICY
.. and yummy.
Let me know if you have any great recipes using harissa... i'm obsessed!