World Cuisine

Roasted Chilli Harissa Paste

cook 30 mins
  • 12 large fresh red chillies, such as Guajillo, Mexican Horn or New Mexico
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seed
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon caraway or fennel seeds
  • 3–4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped coriander
  • crudités or toasted flatbreads, to serve
  • Place the chillies in an ovenproof dish, pour over the oil and roast in a preheated oven, 200°C (400°F), Gas Mark 6, for 20–25 minutes until the skins begin to buckle. Meanwhile, dry-fry all the seeds in a small, heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat for 2–3 minutes until they emit a nutty aroma, then grind in a spice grinder.
  • Using a small, sharp knife, remove the stalks and skins from the roasted chillies. Slit lengthways and scrape out the seeds. Using a pestle and mortar, pound the chilli flesh, garlic and salt to a smooth paste. Add the spices, mix with 2–3 tablespoons of the roasting oil and stir in the coriander.
  • Spoon the harissa into a small bowl, drizzle over a little more roasting oil and serve with crudités or toasted flatbread. Alternatively, put into a sterilized jar, top with a thin layer of olive oil and seal. (The harissa paste can also be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks.)
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