Bondi kids are brave when it comes to chilli but we still sunstituted the sightly less-spicy green chillies here  – and this paste is a perfect accompaniment to so many dishes: braises, soups, stews, roasts, sandwiches… and so much better made than bought!


Fresh from the garden: capsicum, red onion, garlic, chillies, lemon
Recipe source: Yotam Ottolenghi in Plenty
Makes: 1 small jar


  • Chopping boards & knife
  • Citrus juicer
  • Measures: tablespoon, teaspoon, ½ teaspoon
  • Skewer, tongs
  • Frying pan
  • Mortar & pestle
  • Food blender
  • Jar & lid
  • Bowls to serve

  • 1 red capsicum
  • ½ teaspoon each coriander seeds, cumin seeds and caraway seeds
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 red onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 red chillies
  • 1 lemon
  • ½ tablespoon tomato purée
  • ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt

What to do:

  • Peel and dice the onion. Peel and chop the garlic cloves. Slice the chillies in half lengthways and scrape out the seeds and white membranes. Chop the chillies, taking care to wash your hands properly afterwards!
  • Cut the lemon in half and juice to yield 2 tablespoons.
  • To blacken the capsicum, skewer the whole capsicum and roast it directly on the gas flame of the stove, turning every minute or two until the entire surface is blackened. The metal skewer will get hot – be careful! Once charred, set aside to cool.
  • Place a dry frying pan on a low heat and carefully toast the coriander, cumin and caraway seeds for two minutes. Transfer to a mortar with the salt and grind to a powder. Set aside.
  • Peel the charred skin from the capsicum under cool running water. Core and remove seeds, drain and dice.
  • Heat the oil in the frying pan and fry the onion, garlic and chillies over medium heat until dark and smoky for about six minutes.
  • In a food processor or blender, combine the capsicum, ground spices, onion, garlic and chillies with the lemon juice and tomato puree and process until smooth.
  • Set aside until needed or spoon into a sterilised jar and keep for 2 weeks in the fridge.

Notes: Where does harissa originate? What could you serve it with? Can you name any other accompaniments?

Categories: Kitchen Garden, Recipe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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