Make this easy harissa paste with dried chiles, garlic, and warm North African spices and keep it in the fridge for use on meat, chicken, fish, or even veggies. You can also stir in a bit of harissa in your soups and stews or to add a little kick to your shakshuka or hummus!
Juice of 1 large lemon,2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2tablespoonquality extra virgin olive oil,more for later
Soak and prepare the dried chiles. Place the dried chiles in a heat-safe bowl and cover with hot water. Set aside for 30 minutes until the chiles are tender and re-hydrated. Drain the chiles and remove the stems and seeds.
Combine chiles with the remaining ingredients. Transfer the chiles to the bowl of a large food processor fitted with a blade. Add the tomato paste, roasted red peppers, garlic, ground caraway seeds, coriander, cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne (if using), and a large pinch of kosher salt. Add fresh lemon juice.
Make the harissa paste. Run the food processor, and while it’s running, drizzle the extra virgin olive oil from the top opening. Stop the processor to scrape down the sides and run again until you reach the desired paste-like texture. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking (remember that harissa paste will deepen in flavor as it sits in the fridge over the next day or two).
Store. Transfer the harissa paste to a clean mason jar. Cover with a very thin layer of extra virgin olive oil, then cover the jar with its lid tightly and refrigerate.
This recipe makes about 1 ½ cups of harissa paste.A serving size is 2 tablespoons.
Cook's Tip: You can use this homemade harissa paste as soon as you make it, but for best flavor allow it at least 1 to 2 days in the fridge.
Storage: Homemade harissa can last in the fridge for 2 to 3 weeks, properly stored in a covered mason jar and the top the harissa paste covered with a thin layer of extra virgin olive oil. You can use a little bit of the harissa paste at a time, but be sure to add a bit more extra virgin olive oil to cover the top before storing in the fridge again.
Can you freeze it? Yes! You can freeze harissa paste for up to 1 month or so. Best to freeze individual smaller portions.