Holy Smokes Harissa

First of all, HAPPY NEW YEAR! 2015, can you believe it? A new chapter, page 1 of 365.

Christmas has passed in a whirl wind, as it always does, and it already seems like forever ago. We had a much-needed couple of weeks rest and relaxation, and obviously there was gluttonous amounts of feasting and drinking. It would be rude to assume that one shouldn’t feast! I’m really looking forward to this year, I know everyone starts out with lots of resolutions and overly positive thoughts, but I’ve got faith in 2015. It’s gonna be a good’n.

I took some time away from cooking over the festive break, let my mum take the reins while I was her trusty guinea pig. However, I couldn’t keep totally away from the kitchen, but it was nice to not feel any pressure to be creating things when I just wanted to rest.


This harissa was one of the winning concoctions in my kitchen a few weeks ago. I love harissa, the heat it packs, and the fiery bomb it sets off over your taste buds. It is pretty expensive in the UK, and I get through it pretty fast, so I decided to try making my own.

And boy, is it good. Fiery as hell good.

Holy Smokes Harissa

Makes 2 small jars


10 red chillies
10 red birds eye chillies
15 garlic cloves
1 red onion
1 red pepper
5tsp – coriander, cumin, caraway seeds
80ml extra virgin olive oil


Roast spices in a dry frying pan for a few minutes, until you start to smell their aroma. Tip into a blender and blitz into a rough powder. Put into a bowl and set aside.

Roughly chop the chillies, pepper and onion. You can de-seed the chillies if you wish, however I prefer to leave the seeds in for a better kick. Add all to blender including the olive oil and blitz until you get a rough paste. You may need to do it in batches depending on the size of your blender / processor.

Cook paste in a frying pan for 10-15 mins, until it becomes slightly sticky. Stir often, and continuously near the end.

Mix in the spices, and a generous pinch of salt.

Remove from heat and put into air-tight jars. Will last for roughly 2 weeks.