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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."


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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.


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Chili Garlic Sauce (Tuong Ot) Recipe

Chili Garlic Sauce (Tuong Ot)

01.29.09 by Jackie

As promised, this is the recipe of tướng ớt, literally spicy dipping sauce in Vietnamese. It's ultra easy. This sauce is great for dipping and stir-frying. The last time I used this condiment was for my father-in-law's favorite Asian dish, green beans and tofu stir fry.

It contains the bare minimum ingredients: something sweet, something savory and of course a ton of spiciness. This blend has a delicious garlic flavor.

Every year, my husband Lulu plants an incredible amount of all sorts of chiles. My parents-in-law loves extremely spicy food. Before I got married, I hated spicy food. To be honest, I could barely handle a dash of black pepper, let alone a jalapeno or heaven forbid a habanero. I guess marrying into an Indian family helped my taste buds. I've gotten better. I'm learning.


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