Preserved Lemon Harissa


30 large dried red chilis, stem removed - I did a combination of espelette, guajillo, and cayenne...because that's what I had at my house

3 tbsp chopped preserved lemon

1 tbsp cumin seeds

1 tbsp coriander seeds

1/2 tbsp fenugreek

10 cloves garlic

1 cup olive oil


in a small saucepan, bring 3 cups water to boiling. Add chili peppers and lower heat to medium. Cover. Stir every 5 minutes for 20 minutes. 

At the same time in another saucepan, simmer garlic cloves in olive oil over low-medium heat, covered for 20 minutes. 

In a dry skillet, toast cumin and coriander seeds for 2 minutes, until fragrant and cumin seeds can be crushed with a fingernail. (Not blackened or burnt). Do the same with fenugreek seeds, until slightly browned and can be crushed easily with a bottom of a glass. Grind in a coffee grinder or spice grinder, or mortar & pestle into a fine grind. 

Drain chili peppers and reserve 1/2 cup of the chili water. 

In food processor, combine chili peppers, garlic cloves (reserve garlic oil for use in other dishes!), and preserved lemon. Add little bits of chili water if you need liquid to combine. Add 1 1/2 tbsp spice blend, and a pinch of kosher salt. Blend again until you get a smooth paste.