( MAKES 1 cup )
Photo by Annabel Langbein media
There are as many recipes for this spice paste as there are cooks in North Africa, but this is my favourite variation. Do include the rosewater if you can find it, as it adds a delicate floral accent. It's delicious stirred into couscous, stews and soups, or rubbed on meat before grilling or barbecuing.
- Toast the coriander and cumin seeds in a dry frying pan until they just start to pop — watching closely so you don't burn them. Grind the toasted seeds with a mortar and pestle. Chop the garlic and chillies and crush them into a paste with the salt.
- Return crushed seeds to the frying pan, add oil, chilli and garlic paste and cayenne pepper. Sizzle for a few seconds then add tomato puree. Simmer over a high heat for a couple of minutes until the mixture thickens.
- Remove from heat and mix in rosewater or sugar. Store harissa in the fridge covered with a film of oil — it will keep for a couple of weeks.
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