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North African Spiced Harissa With Grilled Pita(Libya)

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“Standard Libyan cuisine consists of soups, seafood, pasta, and fruit. A particular favorite is what we would associate as ketchup or hot sauce is called, harissa. It looks a little like ketchup, but smells really spicy. Once you get a little dab on some bread you can’t stop going back for more. It’s addictive. In North Africa, they put it on everything – fried eggs for breakfast, salad, and fish. The most common means is to put it on fresh flatbread. From Climbing Grier Mountain.”
1hr 10mins
1 1/2 cups

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Place both chilies in a large bowl. Add hot water to bowl and let the chilies re-hydrated for at least an hour at room temperature. Meanwhile, toast cumin and coriander seeds in a small skillet over medium heat for a minute or until fragrant. Once toasted, grind these seeds in a grinder until powder-like. Set aside.
  2. Once the chilies have set for at least an hour, drain, pat dry, cut the stems off, and remove seeds. Place chilies in a food processor. Pulse a few times. Add garlic clove and pulse again. You might need to add a little water to help thin it out. At this point you can either push the puree through a fine mesh sieve or if you like a thicker puree leave as is. Add the cumin, corriander, olive oil, and orange juice to the chilies. Pulse again until smooth. Add a squeeze of lemon and salt/pepper to taste. Serve with grilled pita.

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