How Harissa Paste Recipe Can Transform Dishes

Looking for food items which make extensive use of spices? Apart from Indian cuisines, even North African dishes derive flavors from a variety of spices. The food served here is predominantly of Mediterranean nature, incorporating unexpected combinations of fruits and vegetables, along with olive oil. The harissa paste recipe is a fiery mixture used to flavor curries in Tunisia, Morocco, and Algeria.

Olive oil is a major ingredient in harissa. You may just find a pouring of the oil right at the top- it is often incorporating just before topping off. The oil helps to give a fatty lushness and creamy mouthfeel to the powder. Peppers are pasted and not liquefied into the powder, giving it a velvety texture and not that of a runny sauce.

The harissa paste recipe consists of simple ingredients such as garlic, vinegar, smoked paprika, red chilies, bell peppers, and cloves. Sometimes tomatoes and coriander seeds may be incorporated for flavor. You will find the harissa paste being sold online on reputed spice-based websites. They also come with recipes and other ingredients in beautiful spice boxes.

What does harissa powder look like?

Harissa has a vibrant orangey-red color and emanates a strong aroma. It is always known by its grainy consistency and lightly smoky flavor. Africans often add a dash of lemon juice and chopped garlic to prepare the classical harissa paste. It can be used to flavor dishes just like peri peri sauce.

How to use harissa?

Harissa has traditionally been used for seasoning couscous and tagines in Moroccan cuisine, as well as in the form of a spread. The versatility of this ingredient is the best part about it. You will also see it being incorporated in harir and lentil soup. It is also an ingredient that blends excellently well with tomato-based dishes. Here are other ways of using it:

  • Hummus– It can be used to give a smoky flavor to hummus
  • Salad dressing– You can incorporate harissa into a lemony salad dressing. Tossing raw julienned carrots with this paste will make it a truly delicious snack.
  • Rub for meats– This is an instant rub for chicken legs, the lags of lamb, or for pork
  • Sauce with yoghurt– Beat yoghurt into harissa to prepare a hot and cold sauce for grilled meats such as lamb chops
  • Chicken wings– This serves as a great spicy condiment for chicken wings
  • Burgers– Mix harissa paste into the burger meat or blend it into the mayo for imparting a zingy taste

Here’s a tip you must follow. Be prudent while making use of harissa in the form of a condiment. Pastes can become too hot-hot and may just end up overwhelming your food preparation. A little amount of the ingredient goes a long way in enhancing the food to a desirable extent. Prior to taking out harissa paste from a vessel, ensure that you stir it well. This will allow the olive oil to integrate well and create an even consistency. In fact, with the diverse applications, its usage goes as far as the imagination.

About Liz Edgecombe

Liz is our founder, dreamer & passionate spice evangelist. She is passionate about enriching life & does what she can to add that extra bit of spice to life.

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