Rose's Shop Watch: Harissa
Waitrose, Sainsbury's, Ocado, Belazu
Belazu Rose Harissa
Adds spice to almost any dish
Moroccan food comes into its own in February. Why? Because it has an element of the exotic, an elusive subtle spicing, and a depth of flavour – all of which seem appropriate to enliven your cooking in the most dismal month of the year! And the one ingredient that seems to express the characteristic of Moroccan cooking most is harissa.
Harissa is a complex fragrant spice paste of North Africa, that adds a slow-burning chilli heat to almost any dish. Its name comes from the Arabic harasa meaning “to pound”. It is made from roasted red peppers, chilli peppers, olive oil, garlic, spices and herbs such as cumin, coriander and saffron.
I think that the best harissa on the market is made by Belazu. They developed their paste from a secret recipe which includes rose petals and it has a sweet smokiness in flavour. It has become one of their signature ingredients.
In Morocco it is traditionally used to add a kick to tagines, soups and couscous. Serve it alongside Delia’s Moroccan Baked Chicken with Chickpeas and Rice or her lemony Moroccan Chicken add it to a chickpea soup or mix into a couscous salad. But I find that it can be used in a myriad of other ways: mix it into hummus; use it as a rub on a roast chicken or a leg of lamb or lamb chops; add it to a marinade; mix it into meatballs or burgers; add it to crème fraiche or yogurt for a sauce or dressing; or use with olive oil as a dip for bread; add it to a simple sandwich; and make it into a salad dressing for a tomato, red onion and fresh coriander salsa to serve with merguez sausages or grilled halloumi. In fact, once you start you will find another hundred ways that this wonderful condiment can liven up your food this month.
The most versatile condiment you can find
Belazu Rose Harissa
Waitrose and Ocado £3.99
Sainsbury's Customer Service:
Tel.: 0800 636 262
Waitrose Customer Service:
Tel.: 0800 188 884
Check stock is available before visiting your local store, to avoid a wasted journey.
Ocado Customer Service:
Tel.: 0345 656 1234
Availability and price as at January 2017