This is a recipe for authentic Harissa I’ve learned to make from my grandmother. In many Tunisian recipes I’ll post in the future, I will call for Harissa. You can make it very spicy or not spicy at all.
The size of the chilis to use is about the size of the California chilies (google it).
You can make a lot of it and freeze in Ziploc bags. it will last for a year in the freezer so once you’re done with it, you don’t have to worry about making it again for a long time.
1. Take a very big bag of California chilies (or similar – California are more on the mild side – so it is a good start) – about 40.
2. Clean them well from all seeds and stem, leaving the red part only.
3. Wash well and soak in water for 30 minutes. drain in a colander, the water will be still dirty from dust etc’
4. Soak the chilies for additional 30 minutes.
5. drain the chilies and put it in a Cuisinart with S shape blade (as see in the pic above)
6. Add a LOT of garlic (approximately 25-35 cloves) and grind it all into a smooth paste. If it is slightly hard to grind into a paste and you have big pieces of chilies left, add water by a teaspoon until it becomes a paste.
7. Transfer the paste into a bowl. Add about two tablespoons of grey Atlantic salt and mix well.
8. Wait 10 minutes – let the salt dissolve in the Harissa.
9. Add about quarter of a cup of Canola oil and mix well.
10. Divide into 10-15 portions in a Ziploc or small plastic containers. freeze all but one to put in the refrigerator.
11. Pour a bit of canola oil on top of the Harissa in the container that you put in the refrigerator.
Harrisa is good as is. put it on bread with a slice of tomato or Tofu, add a bit of lemon when you serve next to your favorite spreads and bread or serve next to almost any dish.
There are, of course many Tunisian dishes that use Harissa that I plan to post their recipes in the future.