Harissa Recipes

View All | View Summaries
Harissa Recipe Provided by Chef Pawan Pinisetti Recipe

This recipe was provided by Chef Pawan Pinisetti. To learn more about the life of a chef in Vegas, check out his interview (click on the link to view):

"Here's a recipe of one of my favorite accompaniments when I'm eating Mediterranean food. This is a recipe I learned when I was in school (Culinary Institute of America, New York) and I've held onto it ever since. Hope you try it out and enjoy it as well.

Harissa, a spicy red chili paste, popular throughout the Maghreb, was created long after Islam occupied the Iberian Peninsula. Not until the 16th century and well after the discovery of the New World, did the rest of the Mediterranean accept the pepper as an edible and flavorful ingredient."


Full Recipe...
Moghrabieh with Root Vegetables (Lebanese Couscous) Recipe

Moghrabieh, like rice or pasta, is a palette upon which many flavors can be layered. I love the combination of couscous and beluga lentils, and to this I added cumin, butternut squash, mint, onion, turnip and red chiles. It's a healthy and delicious meal that hits the spot on a cold day.

In Paris, where I grew up, there is a large population of North Africans, so I was familiar with the tiny variety of couscous. My first introduction to the larger Lebanese variety was when I visited Las Vegas a few years ago. My husband ordered a plate of moghrabieh with lentils and vegetables. He fell in love with it, and so did I. I've been cooking with it ever since.


Full Recipe...
Vegetarian Lentil Soup Recipe

Vegetarian Lentil Soup

11.05.09 by Jackie

Sunny had an orthodontist appointment today and she got tighter elastic bands on her braces. The poor thing couldn't chew solid foods. I had to make her something that wouldn't cause any pain, and after looking through the pantry I decided to make her a bowl of hot lentil soup. She loves hot and spicy foods, so I added some leftover harissa "ice cubes" (see tips) from the freezer to the soup to give it a kick and to complement the earthy flavors of the lentils.

You'll enjoy this soup even if you haven't had recent dental work done. It's a great cure for the cool weather we've been having as well.


Full Recipe...
How to Make Harissa Recipe

How to Make Harissa

10.17.09 by Jackie

Harissa is a spicy paste that is used as a condiment in Northern African cuisine. I was first introduced to harissa when I was in elementary school.

I had a friend named Inès, who was of Tunisian decent. I went over to her house one day and I remember we strolled into the kitchen and she pulled out a jar filled with a dark red paste. She dared me to spread some on a piece of baguette and have a taste.

Of course, I accepted the challenge, and oh boy was it spicy! I don't really eat hot chiles, and I could barely handle it. The harissa did have an amazing flavor though, and after a tall glass of milk to soothe my taste buds, I went back for more.

When it came to eating harissa, I was definitely a lightweight compared to Inès and her family. I could barely handle a few bites, but they ate it the way Italians consume balsamic vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil.  Harissa was eaten with bread as a starter, and mixed with meat and vegetables for main course.

Harissa is not only versatile, but also very easy to make. The main ingredients are garlic, and of course, dried red chiles. The final ingredient is time. Like cheese, the longer you wait, the stronger the flavors get and the yummier it is. So prepare a jar this weekend, and you'll be well on your way to making amazing North African dishes.


Full Recipe...
Vegetarian Cheese Quesadilla Recipe

Vegetarian Cheese Quesadilla

10.16.09 by Jackie

Quesadillas are easy to make and fun to eat. We had relatives over for dinner tonight, so I made some quesadilla canapés as an appetizer. I prepared two fillings, one with shredded beef and a vegetarian option as well.

I wanted the vegetarian ones to have a chewy consistency, so I did not use vegetarian chorizo as I usually do when I make vegetarian Mexican dishes. I used shredded, fried tofu that I blended with harissa to add a little kick to the dish. Harissa is a spicy paste that is used as a condiment in Northern African cuisine. I think the grainy paste blended with the shredded tofu loosely resembles the texture of the meat version. I'll post the recipe for harissa tomorrow.

Vegetarian Cheese Quesadilla Recipe


Full Recipe...