Makes about 1 1/2 to 2 cups
1 ancho chili , seeded
2 chipotle peppers, seeded
4 New Mexico or Fresno chili, seeded
6-8 chilies de arbol, seeded
1 jalapeño, seeded and cored (optional)
1 tablespoon fresh parsley (optional)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoon cumin seed
2 teaspoon coriander seed
4 cloves garlic
1/2 a medium onion
1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil (approx)
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
Having a blend of dried and smoked peppers is key. Anchos are sweet and smokey, while chipotles bring spice and savoriness. Dried red chilis, like Fresno or New Mexico and a brightness and arbols pack in the Socville heat. Find the mix you like. If the harissa paste ends up too spicy, use brown sugar or more tomato paste to balance the flavor.
Bring 3-4 cups water to a boil, remove from heat.
Add seeded dried chilis, garlic and onion to water and allow to steep for 15 to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile toast seeds then grind (you can skip grinding if you have a high powered blender)
Add all ingredients, and a few tablespoons of the chili steeped water, into a blender or food processor. Pulse and blend, adding additional oil and water as necessary.