Harissa is one of North Africa’s star pastes, enjoyed with everything from couscous to lamb. You can buy it ready-made or you can make it yourself, either way it is delicious and adds the perfect depth to your meal.
For the Harissa paste:
10-12 dried red chillies
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground caraway seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin
For the lamb chops:
500 g Free range lamb rib chops
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp Harissa paste
2 tsp fresh pomegranates
For the vegetables:
1 packet of garden pea medley (350 g) from Woolworths
OR garden peas, carrots, leeks, fine beans, red cabbage, baby marrow, long stem broccoli
2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Dried chili flakes
1 basting brush
Preparation: 5 min excluding making the Harissa
Cooking time: 20 minutes
To make your own Harissa paste: Soak the dried chilies in hot water for 30 minutes. Drain. Remove stems and seeds. In a food processor combine the chili, garlic, salt and olive oil and blend well.
Add remaining spices and blend to form a smooth paste. Store in an air tight container. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil on top to keep fresh. It will keep for a month in the refrigerator.
Preheat the braai/ barbeque to 200C.
Marinade the chops with the Harissa paste, olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic salt. Once the braai has reached temperature, cook the chops on each side for 4-5 minutes or until cooked to your liking (I love mine crispy).
Once you have turned the chops, place the wok on high-heat and add the olive oil and garlic. Fry for 30 seconds, then add the vegetables and chili flakes and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes, put the lid on if the broccoli is still a bit hard.
Rest the chops for 5-6 minutes, covered.
To dish up, squeeze the lemon over the vegetables and sprinkle the pomegranate gems over the chops and veggies.