Harissa is a red chilli paste which is very commonly found in North African cuisine. In Libya,Tunisia and Moroccan cuisine it is offen used as a condiment in meat dishes, stews, sauces and also in couscous. In Libyan Harissa is offen used as a marinate for meat.It is popular as a break fast spread, Harissa mixed with tuna is a favorite sandwich filling in Libya.There are many recipes for Harissa according to household and region.Variations can include the addition of cumin, garlic,mint,dry coriander and lemon juice.Comming to the chillies the main ingredient commonly used is piri piri peppers or serrano peppers or other hot chilies you can use less spice chillis also but that won't give a original flavour, olive oil is a standard ingredient.I came up with two recipes from my Libyan friends one is less spice and the other one is realy hot .The less spicer one include tomato puree that is gone very well with sandwich and salads.the other one Iam using as a marination and as a flavouring for stew s and curry's
Red chillies --- 12 finely chopped
Cumin seeds -- 1 tea sp
Garlic -- 6 cloves
Coriander seeds -- 1 tab sp (dry roasted)
caraway seeds -- 1/4 tea sp (dry roasted)
Salt -- 1/2 tea sp
Olive oil to cover the paste
If you like can add 1 tab sp of tomato paste to make harissa less hot
Add salt and bleand in to a smooth paste.
Store Harissa in a clean glass jar top with a thin layer of olive oil.
This will stay for a month in fridge.
You can make Harissa with dry red chillies also in that case ..
Soak the dry red chillies in warm water for 15 minutes or untill chillies became soft then chop and bleand with other spices and little water (which we soaked the dry chillies) and pour olive oil on top to cover the paste.
If you are using dry chillies then no need to cook them, just soak the chillies till soft and grind .