I really don’t need another hot sauce in the house. The various pastes, sauces and spice powders are finally overflowing out of our cupboards and fridge and onto the kitchen counters. But can you blame me? If you’re a hot sauce addict like me, then you also know that different hot sauces go with different foods and dishes!
A couple sweet ones, maybe some chilli oil, a bright green jalapeno hot sauce, the irresistible sriracha, Frank’s red, and then the really scary ones that have a skull-and-crossbones over the label. There are also couple hidden in the back of my cupboards that I’m too afraid to try but I’ll work up the courage eventually! Then there’s the cayenne pepper and chilli powder, the dried chillies in my pantry and the fresh Thai chillies in my fridge. I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point.
Wait, what was my point? Oh right, I made another hot sauce!!!!! And before you start to groan and tell me why I don’t need another hot sauce, just hear me out! It’s called “harissa” paste and it’s so freakin’ good! But anything made with roasted red peppers and chilli peppers is going to be wonderfully delicious.
Have you ever tried it? It’s a combination of roasted red peppers and chillies, spices and herbs that is preserved in lemon and olive oil. It’s sweet, spicy and super fragrant and really packs a punch so a little goes a long long way! harissa is a Tunisian chili paste that has also become popular in Morocco. Used to flavour soups and stews or marinating meat and fish, it’s use has evolved and can be used in practically anything! I love adding this on top of a runny egg with toast or mixed into my hummus and even to pasta sauce.
I soaked dried chillies in hot water to soften them and added them to the roasted red peppers in the food processor. I love the flavour of cumin so of course I had to add that in as well as a little lemon, garlic and olive oil. The food processor did the rest of the work, so really, the question becomes: “How could I not make harissa paste?”
- 5 dried chillies (I used guajillo and habanero peppers)
- 1 cup of boiled water
- 2 roasted red peppers, skins and seeds removed
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Pour the boiling water over the dried chillies and let them soak for 20 minutes until the soften. Remove the seeds and place into your food processor.
- Add the roasted red peppers, garlic clove, lemon juice and cumin powder. Roast red peppers by placing them under the broiler until the skin begins to char. Place them in a boil and cover with plastic wrap until the skin starts to separate from the peppers. Remove the skins and slice open to remove the seeds
- Pulse the ingredients in the processor until a paste forms . Add in a little salt for taste and the olive oil.
- Store in the fridge until ready to use.