World Cuisine

Dried Chilli Harissa Paste

prep 40 mins, plus 2 days soaking cook 2–3 mins
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 8–10 dried red chillies, soaked in water for 2 days
  • 3–4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1–2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

Dry-fry the cumin and coriander seeds in a small, heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat for 2–3 minutes until they emit a nutty aroma, then grind them to a powder in a mortar with a pestle.

Drain the chillies, chop off the stalks, and squeeze out most of the seeds. Discard the stalks and seeds and coarsely chop the chillies. Using a mortar and pestle, pound the chillies with the garlic and salt to form a thick, smooth paste.

Add the ground spices to the paste and pound again, then beat in most of the oil.

Spoon the paste into a sterilized jar and pour over the remaining oil. Seal the jar and store in a cool place or in the refrigerator. Use within 2 months.

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