Harissa Paste and Harissa Yogurt Dipping Sauce

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Harissa is another sauce I knew nothing about till recently just like the Tzatziki. And just like the Tzatziki, reading up made me think of a chutney which is a staple in Rajasthani households –  ‘Lehsun/Garlic ki chutney’!
The same method  i.e. soaking of chillies and grinding with garlic and spices- quite a few of them that I use in my kitchen on a daily basis like the coriander and the cumin. The pungent taste and the versatility.The only difference being that lehsun ki chutney is cooked in oil and Harissa is stored under a layer of oil.

 The Kitchn says ‘This Tunisian chile sauce is a fantastic shortcut to spice up a meal and can be used with everything from meat to vegetables, couscous, roasted potatoes, scrambled eggs, as a dip for bread … the list is truly endless’

Any kind of chillies may be used. For a less pungent paste, add some charred red peppers along with chillies.
I made it with Byadgi chilli and it came out nice and just the right level of pungent.
A combination of red peppers and chilli peppers may also be used.
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10-12 red chillies soaked in boiling hot water for 30 mins
10 cloves of garlic
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp caraway
1 Tbsp coriander seeds
salt to taste
1 large tomato
1 tbsp olive oil plus more to cover if storing
1 tsp lemon juice
Remove the stems of the chillies   and soak for 30 mins in hot water. Store the water and use in case needed while blending the paste.
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Remove the seeds.
Dry roast the caraway, coriander and cumin. Let cool.
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In a food processor add the chillies, garlic, tomato, salt, the roasted spices, lemon juice and grind to a thick, coarse paste adding EVOO slowly.
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Store covered with a thin layer of olive oil.
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The paste stays good for a month in the refrigerator.
Keep adding some olive oil as you scoop the paste off the top.

To make a dipping sauce, stir a couple of spoons of the paste into a cup of thick yogurt.
Serve with chips,crackers or like I did, with Sambousek!
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Recipe sourced and adapted from The Kitchn.

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Lavash- Crisp Whole wheat Crackers!

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Lavash is a thin flatbread from the Middle East, specifically from Armenia. It can be made soft and used to make wraps and rolls. I made the crisp version, Lavash crackers and served them with Tzatziki and Harissa Yogurt sauce. Lavash crackers are also served as a part of the Mediterranean Mezze Platter.
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In Armenian villages, the dried Lavash is stacked high in layers to be used later, and when the time comes to rehydrate the bread, it is sprinkled with water to make it softer again. In its dry form, left-over Lavash is used in Iran to make quick meals after being rehydrated with water, butter and cheese.
In Kashmir it is known as Lavasa or lavase and is a popular breakfast bread.Lavase pieces with green walnut kernels folded between them are considered a delicacy.

Lavash crackers are really simple to make and can be easily stored for days. Enjoy them as an appetiser with a dipping sauce or just nibble on a couple with your cuppa. They reminded me of the Sesame Thins I had made; only these are the savoury version of those!
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I made them with Aata (whole wheat flour).
(This recipe serves 4)

1 ½ cup Aata/Whole wheat flour (half whole wheat and half all purpose flour may be used)
2 Tbsp sesame seeds, a mixture of black and white
1 tsp salt
¼ cup Olive Oil
½ cup water
1 Tbsp oregano or mixed seasoning (optional)

Pre-heat the oven for ten minutes and 180C and grease a baking tray.
Toast the sesame seeds lightly.
Add salt, olive oil and sesame seeds to the flour and rub with your fingers to mix well.
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Add the water slowly and make a soft pliable dough.
Divide into four.
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Roll out really thin, almost see through thin.
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Cut out a circle and slice into triangles.
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Transfer to the greased tray and brush the top with oil.
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Bake till golden and crisp.
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Recipe sourced and adapted from here.


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