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The Ottolenghi Test Kitchen’s Rose Harissa

by The Ottolenghi Test Kitchen Team from Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Extra Good Things

Learn to make flavour-packed rose harissa from scratch with this failsafe recipe from the Ottolenghi Test Kitchen team.

From the book

Yotam Ottolenghi, Noor Murad, The Ottolenghi Test Kitchen Team


We’re quite lucky in the UK to have access to perfectly delicious rose harissa on supermarket shelves. But making it yourself is also a treat, and a great way to up or lower the spices as you wish.

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4 garlic cloves, peeled
40g dried Kashmiri chillies (or another dried mild red chilli), stems and seeds discarded
25g dried ancho chillies, stems and seeds removed
2 tsp cumin seeds, roughly crushed with a pestle and mortar
1 tbsp coriander seeds, roughly crushed with a pestle and mortar
1½ tsp caraway seeds, roughly crushed with a pestle and mortar
1½ tsp Kashmiri chilli powder or paprika
1 tbsp tomato paste
120ml olive oil, plus extra to seal
1½ tsp flaked sea salt
1½ tsp caster sugar
1 tbsp dried rose petals
2 tbsp lemon juice
4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp rose water

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Ventilate your kitchen well. Place a large frying pan on a high heat and, once very hot, add the garlic and cook for 3 minutes, or until charred on the outside. Transfer to a chopping board and roughly chop. To the same pan, still on a high heat, add the chillies and toast until fragrant, about a minute, then transfer to a heatproof bowl. Pour enough boiling water over the chillies to cover and weigh them down with a small plate. Leave for 30 minutes, to soften and rehydrate, then strain through a sieve (saving the chilli water for another use). Set the pan aside to cool slightly.

Return the pan to a medium-high heat, add the crushed cumin, coriander and caraway seeds, the Kashmiri chilli, tomato paste and 2 tablespoons of the oil and cook, stirring all the while, for 2–3 minutes, until fragrant and deeply red. Transfer the mixture to a food processor along with the salt, sugar, rose petals, chopped garlic, rehydrated chillies, lemon juice, vinegar, rose water and 2 tablespoons of the oil, and pulse until you have a coarse paste, scraping down the sides of the bowl a couple of times throughout. Stir in the remaining 4 tablespoons of oil.

Transfer the mixture to a sterilised jar and refrigerate if not using right away. Top the harissa with more oil to seal (this’ll help it keep for longer).

Keep in a sealed, sterilised jar in the fridge for up to 2 months. Keep the mixture sealed with olive oil and use a clean spoon every time you dip into it. – Use in place of storebought ‘rose harissa’ for any recipe in the history of Ottolenghi books!

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From the book: Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Extra Good Things

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