Photo by Tamara West
Harissa paste is a North African spice paste that has flavours of cumin, coriander and chilli in it. It is traditionally used to flavour meat and poultry, but I’ve used it in lots of delicious vegetarian dishes too — you can toss and roast vegetables with it, and use it as a flavour base for a curry with pumpkin and chickpeas.
Makes about 1/2 a cup.
Blend all ingredients together until well combined.
Marinate chicken in harissa paste for an hour or overnight. Grill or barbecue chicken until cooked through. Serve with a salad and warmed hummus on the side.
Steak and chickpea salad with harissa yoghurt dressing
Toss slices of cooked steak with 1 can drained chickpeas, diced cucumber, diced tomatoes and thinly sliced red onion. Mix ½ cup natural unsweetened yoghurt with 1-2 Tbsp harissa paste to taste, and use to dress salad.
Lamb shank, fig and harissa tagine
Dust 2 lamb shanks in flour and brown in a large fry pan, then transfer to a casserole dish with a fitting lid. Add 1 diced onion and a few Tbsp of harissa paste to the fry pan and cook for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to casserole dish with the lamb. Add 1 cup red wine, 2 cups beef or chicken stock and a handful of dried figs or Turkish apricots. Cover casserole dish with lid and cook for 2-3 hours in a 160degC oven until lamb is tender and falling off the bone. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with couscous and roast vegetables.