Home Made Harissa Paste

Harisss Paste

I love harissa, it’s fantastically versatile and can be made for a fraction of the price of the pre made brands. Visit your local Asian supermarket to buy your spices, and this will be even cheaper.

Harissa is great smeared on chicken or lamb before cooking. It’s also delicious mixed with yoghurt and drizzled over roast vegetables, or mixed with mayonnaise to add some zing to toasted sandwiches or burgers. This traditional Moroccan paste makes any tagine come alive.

This recipe will make a large jar of harissa paste that will live quite happily in your fridge for several weeks, or you can share with a friend. It also makes a nice gift for anyone who’s a foodie. This is quite firey, so use with care at first.

Spice Mix

Ingredients

120 Grams Chilli flakes

1 Tsp Carraway seeds

1 Tsp Coriander Seeds

1 Tbsp Cumin Seeds

1 Tsp Salt

4 Cloves of garlic

3 Tbsp Olive oil

Method

  1. Cover the chilli flakes with boiling water, and soak for 30 minutes before draining through a sieve.
  2. In a dry frying pan toast the cumin, coriander, and carraway seeds until you smell the spices. You can grind these with a pestle and motar. I don’t have one, so I used the end of a rolling pin which worked well
  3. In a food processor, combine all the ingredients and whizz until the paste start to look smooth
  4. Transfer to a clean jar and keep in the fridge for up to 4 weeks

Flourless Moroccan Orange Cake

When I went to Morocco I fell in love with the taste of the orange flower water they include in sweet dishes.  You can pick it up cheaply in most Asian supermarkets.

You can make this cake without it and it will still be delicious but add a teaspoon of orange flower water and it takes it to a whole other level.  You can also put this in your bath and it will smell fabulous.

But a final word of caution, if you are going to use it, only use a teaspoonful.  Like rose water, a little bit makes things taste amazing, too much and the dish you slaved over tastes like a tart’s hand bag.

Flourless Moroccan Orange 🎂

This is a brilliant cake if you’re entertaining, as it’s flourless you’re covered if you have a guest who’s gluten intolerant.  Fancy things up, and poach some orange segments in a little sugar and water (you could even add some orange liqueur if you want to push the boat out).  Both the cake and the poached oranges can be made a day in advance so all you have to do is serve it up with some crème fraiche or Greek yoghurt for a simple but effective dessert.  You can also devour it on its own with a big mug of coffee.

            Serves 8

            Ingredients

            2 Large oranges

            5 Large eggs

            250 grams Caster sugar

            250 grams Ground Almonds

            1 Tsp Orange flower water (optional)

            1 Tsp Baking powder

            Icing sugar (optional)

            Method

  1. Put the 2 oranges into a pan with enough water to just cover them, bring to the boil and then simmer for 2 hours, I cover with a lid and check every now and again
  2. After 2 hours, remove from the water allow to cool, chop into quarters (removing any obvious pips, and blend to a pulp using a hand blender or food processor
  3. Pre heat the oven to 200c, and line a 20 cm cake tin with baking parchment
  4. In a bowl combine the eggs and sugar, whisk until the they have turned pale yellow and fluffy
  5. Stir in the baking powder, orange flower water and orange pulp before gradually folding in the ground almonds
  6. Transfer the mix into you lined tin and bake for 50-55 minute, or until a skewer comes out cleanly with no cake mixture on it. This cake does go quite dark, but if you’re worried it’s not cooked and it’s getting too dark, then cover with some aluminium foil.
  7. Allow to cool in the tin for 30 minutes, remove from the tin and dust with icing sugar