There is nothing bland about it!
-Huma Siddiqui-Seitz is an entrepreneur, published author, cooking class instructor and owner of White Jasmine
I am delighted to have this opportunity to write a culinary column for the Mount Horeb Newspaper and share my passion for food and flavor with you. Fortunately, I have had an opportunity to live on four continents and experience different ways of life, food and flavors. Quite frankly, I see food as a very special aspect of my life, it has helped me survive the big changes and upheaval of moving from country to country. The most important thing I learned was that regardless of the differences in culture and/or language most people love and appreciate good food. The idea of connecting around the dining table is heartwarming. Sharing food and recipes creates a sense of community is something I treasure which compelled me to teach cooking classes, write a cookbook with traditional recipes including stories about real-life experiences and create a spice company which offers a window into rich, healthy and bold flavors.
Talking about unique and bold flavors, let’s talk about Harissa, the Mediterranean Chili Sauce. My first encounter with these amazing flavors was when I lived in North Africa. It is used extensively in cooking and as a condiment. I used to buy multiple jars from the street sellers whenever I could and just eat it as a dipping sauce with pita bread…addictive and delicious!
I have been delighted to see Mediterranean flavors making into local restaurant menus and on grocery store shelves. What is Harissa? Basically, it is a combination of chilies, olive oil and garlic, how can one go wrong with these ingredients? Here is my recipe for Harissa, it is a very versatile sauce which can be used in different recipes to add another layer of flavor or a sauce in a sandwich instead of mayonnaise.
Hope you have fun trying this recipe and flavors. Looking forward to bringing more fun flavors and food for thought next time!
A North African
4 guajillo Whole Chilies
4 de arbol Whole Chilies
2 teaspoons garlic
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon whole cumin
1 tablespoon olive oil
Soak the chilies in warm water for 30 minutes, pull the tops off and place in a blender with garlic, whole cumin, salt and olive oil. Blend for 3-4 minutes or until a thick paste is created, set aside in an airtight jar. Stays fresh in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks.
Links to other recipes using Harissa: