Harissa with a twist – or, as my husband, Z, calls it “Mexican Harissa.” It’s my mother’s traditional harissa recipe but with one or two chipotle peppers. In Los Angeles it’s pretty easy to find chipotle peppers (I actually bought these at a supermarket in Playa Del Carmen.) You can find them in any Latino supermarket, amazon and even on eBay! Another option is to use a teaspoon of crushed chipotle instead (can be found on William-Sonoma’s website.)
Cheeky chipotles give the harissa a deep smoky flavor.
- 10 dried red chili peppers
- 2–4 chipotle peppers (depending on how spicy the chipotles are - you can test with the tip of your tongue) or 2–4 teaspoons crushed chipotle peppers
- 2 small red hot chili peppers (only if the chipotles are not spicy)
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped roughly
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground caraway seeds
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- Cut the peppers stems and remove the seeds (it's okay to leave some) and discard. Boil enough water to fill a large bowl. Put all the peppers into a metal/ceramic bowl and pour the boiling water over to cover them. Place a plate over to prevent them from floating and soak for 15 minutes. Drain and put in a salad spinner or on a clean kitchen towel to dry them as much as possible.
- Put the peppers in a food processor with the rest of the ingredients and process until you get a smooth yet slightly chunky paste. (Don't over blend!) Put the harissa in a sterilized jar or in a container, drizzle some olive oil over and refrigerate, up to one month. If you make more then one jar's worth, you can store it in plastic containers in the freezer.