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Harissa, the ingredient essential to Tunisian cuisine

October 5, 2009 |  6:02 am

Alain

We recently wrote about Tunisian food, specifically about the way Tunisian Jews might celebrate Rosh Hashanah. An essential ingredient in Tunisian food, and one mentioned in the story, was harissa. A reader wrote to ask about it.

Harissa is a sauce based on chiles, hot but not searing. There are many varieties, but many have garlic, salt and oil. It can be used as is on a sandwich or stirred into soups, spread on chicken or as a marinade. It goes into Tunisian couscous.

Many gourmet markets and cooking shops sell it, often in tubes. You can find recipes for it in Middle Eastern cookbooks.

-- Mary MacVean

Photo: Alain Cohen, left, makes harissa for his shop, Got Kosher? Provisions on Pico Boulevard.

Credit: Christina House / For The Times

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