The heat of harissa depends on the type of chilis used. If you prefer a milder heat, you can use a combination of guajillo chilis and ancho chilis. For more heat, add 2 or 3 de arbol chilis. Some cooks like to add lemon juice, tomato paste, or smoked paprika. To make rose harissa, simply add 1 or 2 teaspoons rosewater or 1 tablespoon fresh or dried rose petals to the basic recipe. The sweet floral notes of rose nicely balances the heat of the chilis.
- 2ounces dried New Mexico or guajillo red chilis
- 6-8garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
- 3tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1teaspoon ground coriander
- 1teaspoon ground caraway seeds
- ½teaspoon salt
- Step 1
Soak chilis in warm water for 30 minutes or until soft, then drain, reserving some of the soaking liquid. Roughly chop, then place in a blender or food processor with the garlic, olive oil, ground coriander, ground caraways seeds, and salt and process to a thick paste, adding a little of the reserved soaking liquid, if necessary.
- Step 2
Spoon into a sterilized jar and pour a generous layer of extra virgin olive on top. This will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Or you can divide the harissa into 1 or 2 tablespoonfuls and freeze it.