Harissa is a Tunisian hot chili sauce commonly eaten in North Africa, whose main ingredients are piri piri (a type of chili pepper), serrano peppers and other hot chili peppers and spices such as garlic paste, coriander, red chili powder, caraway as well as some vegetable or olive oil. I have never been to North Africa, but I confess I love harissa!
I usually buy the Rose Harissa Paste by Belazu. It is a heady combination of rose petals and over forty spices, which give this paste a very unique aroma and complex, yet unmistakably spicy, taste. It has a hot kick to it but the rose petals in the sauce provide a unique balance to the chilli heat. I like a bit of spice, but not a lot, so the Rose Harissa Paste is perfect for me. OF course you can adjust the heat by adding more or less, according to your own taste.
I often toss hunks of potatoes with a bit of oil and harissa paste and roast them in the oven until they are all crisp and golden, with a bit of delicious heat and spice. I also add some to my chunky oven wedges that I like to make from time to time, oh so good with a sour cream dip.
Today I chose to pan fry some of the salad potatoes we grew last summer, the pink fir ones, in a mixture of olive oil, onions, garlic, spices and some rose harissa paste. I think they turned really lovely. (We've had the potatoes stored in a covered bin filled with sand just outside our back door and they have kept beautifully.)
Nicely spiced with crunchy bits . . . beautifully coloured and just spicy enough without going over the top.
We enjoyed these tonight with some grilled chicken breasts and vegetables. They were scrumdiddlyumptious! I have always loved pan fries, but these take pan fries to a whole new level!
Serves 4Printable Recipe
Spicy and delicious with little cripsy bits. These go very well with roasted meats, poultry or grilled fish.
3 TBS olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced
750g of waxy potatoes (salad type), thickly sliced (about 1 1/2 pounds) (I used pink fir today)
5 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
1 heaped tsp of harissa, or more to taste
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp coarse sea salt
1 TBS freshly squeezed lemon juice
a large handful of coriander leaves, chopped (cilantro)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and cook, stirring for about 1 minute. Add the potatoes. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes longer, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic, harissa, cumin and sea salt. Mix together well. Add enough boiling water to barely come halfway up the potatoes. Cover with a lid and simmer for about 20 minutes, gently. Remove the lid and cook for about 5 to 10 minutes longer, until cooked through, tender, beginning to turn golden and the water has all been absorbed. Stir in the lemon juice and coriander and serve.
You can find recipes to make your own Rose Harissa here, and regular Harissa, here.