In this post I bemoaned the fact that the Harissa I’d bought was way too hot, and had too much mint, and threatened to blend my own to suit my own palate. So I did – this is it.
The mint has been reduced and caraway omitted, as have the chillies and salt.
It could be argued that it’s not Harissa now, but I don’t buy that as there are wide variations in formulation, and the stuff varies between countries and, I don’t doubt, between villages/towns too, so this is…
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp dried coriander leaf
1.5 tsp dried mint
2 tbsp dried oregano
2 tsp fine black pepper
2 tsp Cayenne pepper
2 tsp celery salt
The mint, coriander leaf and oregano were crushed with a mortar and pestle to give them a finer texture, so that they combined more easily with the spices.
Everything was thoroughly mixed then tipped into a small glass jar, tightly capped and stashed in a dark cupboard. Always store herbs and spices in glass if you can, and in the dark, as both air and light are detrimental.
Finally, I was intrigued, while researching Harissa, to see that some blends contain sweet paprika, and not the massively dominant smoked abomination, either, the smallest amount of which makes your food taste as if it was salvaged from a deli fire. Thing is, I use sweet paprika by the tablespoon, and rarely less than 2 – it’s extremely mild – so the amount you’d get in a tablespoon of Harissa would be so small as to be pointless – you’d not know it was there as it’d be bludgeoned into oblivion by the chillies, Cayenne pepper, and mint.