Harissa Paste

    MAKES: 550 g/1.2 lb
    PREPARATION TIME: 20 minutes
    COOKING TIME: 40 minutes
    Made from red peppers, chiles, and spices, this North African paste is so versatile. I use it as a meat marinade, with cauli-rice, and mixed with full-fat yogurt as a keto-friendly salad dressing. Use a combination of your favorite chiles, and adjust the amount of harissa you use in your recipes according to its heat.

    2 medium (240 g/8.5 oz) red peppers
    5 ounces (140 g) dried chiles of choice (any combination of guajillo, New Mexico, ancho, chipotle, arbol)
    4 to 6 pieces (28 g/1 oz) sun-dried tomatoes, drained
    6 cloves garlic, peeled
    1 teaspoon ground turmeric
    2 teaspoons fine sea salt
    1/4 cup (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
    Juice from 1 lemon (about 60 ml/1/4 cup)
    1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
    1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
    1 teaspoon whole caraway seeds


    Roast the bell peppers in an oven preheated to 350°F (175°C, or gas mark 4). Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the skin is charred and the peppers are soft. Remove from the oven. Put a piece of baking foil over the peppers and set aside to cool until they are easy to handle. Peel the skin and remove the seeds.
    While the peppers are baking, place the dried chiles in a pot and cover with 2 cups (480 ml) boiling water. Cover with a lid and let them sit for 20 to 30 minutes. Drain the chiles, and discard the stems and seeds.
    Place the coriander, cumin, and caraway seeds in a hot pan and dry-roast briefly for just a minute or two. Grind the spices in a mortar and pestle or a coffee grinder.
    Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender: chiles, bell peppers, toasted spices, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, turmeric, salt, olive oil, and lemon juice. Process until smooth, spoon into a jar, and store in the fridge for up to 1 week. To preserve harissa for longer, spoon it into an ice cube tray and place in the freezer. Once frozen, empty the ice cube tray into a resealable plastic bag. Keep your frozen harissa cubes for up to 6 months.
    TIP: Use a combination of your favorite chiles. A combination of fresh, sweet, bell peppers with guajillo, ancho, and chipotle chiles results in moderate-mild spicy harissa. If you prefer more heat, add some arbol chiles or skip the bell peppers. Don’t forget to adjust the amount of harissa used in recipes to adjust for the heat.
    Total carbs: 2.9 g / Fiber: 1.1 g / Net carbs: 1.8 g / Protein: 0.3 g / Fat: 2 g / Energy: 29 kcal
    Macronutrient ratio: Calories from carbs (27%), protein (9%), fat (64%)