A couple of the recipes I want to make this week use harissa, which is a very spicy paste used in Moroccan and Tunisian recipes. In the past I've either bought a jar of harissa paste or used a harissa spice grinder which I bought from Oxfam a few years ago Today I decided to make harissa from scratch.
I only had bird's eye chillies which are very hot. This was possibly a mistake. As I started to process the harissa, microscopic fragments of chilli were released into the air - my nose started to run and tears rolled down my face. Perhaps a mask might have helped! The resulting harissa is exceedingly hot - when a recipe calls for a teaspoonful I am going to try using half that amount and the next time I make it I shall use a milder chilli.
25 g red chillies, de-seeded and diced
1 small red bell pepper, de-seeded and diced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp fresh coriander (cilantro), chopped
1 tsp coriander seeds, crushed
1 tsp cumin seeds, crushed
1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 Tbsp vegetable stock
Blend all of the ingredients together to form a paste.
Storage recommendation in all the recipes I've read is to put the paste into a jar and cover with a layer of olive oil. This would not be Eat to Live friendly so my plan is to store some in the fridge and to freeze teaspoonfuls in an ice cube tray for storage in the freezer.