Harissa Spice Paste
Makes: 1 cup
Total Time: 20 minutes
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander, seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
- 1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small red onion, coarsely chopped, about 2/3 cup
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1 cup red pepper, organic, coarsely chopped
- 1 guajillo chili, dried, coarsely chopped
- 3 small hot chilies, coarsely chopped
- 1½ teaspoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Toast the coriander, cumin and caraway in a dry pan on medium-high heat until fragrant. Transfer to a mortar and pestle and crush.
- Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan on medium heat and fry the onions, garlic, pepper and chilies until they begin to brown, about 10 minutes.
- Add the spices, the pepper mixture and all remaining ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth. Add a bit more olive oil as needed.
Harissa spice paste is mainly composed of a blend of different chili peppers and is traditionally used in North African cuisine. This paste can be used to give bold flavor to stews, soups, meats, fish and dips. I especially love it on Roasted Veggies with Whipped Coconut Cream!
Chili peppers contain capsaicin which not only gives them their heat but also has anti-inflammatory effects and can also help to boost the metabolism. Red peppers are richer in vitamin C than most citrus fruits. They also have an abundance of antioxidants, vitamin A, vitamin E, folate and manganese, which is especially valuable in the development of strong bones and connective tissue.