Harissa (Tunisian Hot Chili Sauce)

If you’re looking for a way to add spice, but don’t want to use Srichacha sauce, this is a great alternative. J and I have used it in stir fry already and it is delicious!

4 ounces (about 18) dried hot red New Mexico chili peppers
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
7 to 8 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon coarse salt, or to taste

Cut off stems and soak peppers in warm water until soft; drain and squeeze out any excess water. Grind peppers in a meat grinder, as North Africans do. Or place these in a food processor, processing with 1/4 cup of the olive oil, the garlic cloves, cumin, coriander and salt. The consistency should be a thick puree, the color of deep red salmon. Transfer to a jar, add the remaining olive oil, cover and refrigerate.

Let the mixture sit for a few days before using, until the harissa becomes less opaque. Use sparingly, because it’s very hot.

My Opinion:
It started out mouth burning hot. So hot we were wondering what on earth we would use it on. After a few hours the flavors mellowed and the heat became much less searing. It added just the right amount of kick to a stir fry. Srichacha may have competition in our house!

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