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Red Harissa

  • 20 minutes
  • 1 hour
  • Makes 2 cups
Red Harissa

Harissa can be three things - a fiery hot red chilli paste, a stew of green capsicums, tomatoes and onion with spices or a thick soup of lamb and wheat. The main spices used remain pretty constant - caraway, corainder and cumin. There are also a number of dried harissa mixes onthe market to which you add oil or water to make into a paste - look for them in speciality food shops.


  • 1 bulb garlic, roasted
  • 2 large red peppers, halved and deseeded
  • 1 x 20 gram packet of dried red chillies
  • 1 tblsp caraway seeds, toasted
  • ½ tblsp coriander seeds, toasted
  • ½ tblsp cumin seeds, toasted
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup oil, olive is nice here


  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
  2. Place the garlic bulb in a square of foil and drizzle with a little olive oil. Wrap to enclose and bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour or until a skewer can easily be inserted. Some bulbs will take more or less time to cook. It's important the bulb is well cooked. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  3. Turn the oven to grill, about 200ºC.
  4. Cut the capsicums into thirds, this way you can easily cut around the corn and miss the seeds. Place the pieces shiny-side up on a foil-lined trya and grill the capsicums until blackened. Cool, then peel.
  5. Pour boiling hot water over the chillies and leave to soak for 10 minutes. Drain well.
  6. Cut the garlic bulb in half crosswise and squeeze the pulp from both sides into a mini food processor. Add the chargrilled capsicums, chillies, caraway, coriander and cumin seeds, salt and oil. Process to make a thick smooth paste.
  7. Transfer to dry sterilised jars, seal and keep refrigerated. Use within 1 month.

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