Sunday, December 30, 2012

Rose Harissa {Morocco}

Inspired by this recipe for Rose Harissa Moroccan Lamb and Flatbreads, I set about trying to track down rose harissa. It wasn't as easy to obtain as you would think. Harissa, yes. Rose harissa, no. So, I did what I always do when I hit an ingredient hurdle: I make it! Though that wasn't as easy as you would think either. I put out a call to a few of my gardener friends, asking for fresh roses, though this completely the wrong season for it. Two of the three I asked said, "Can you wait till May?" One said, "Well, I have a few." I'll take 'em! So, I drove over to Belle's house and, while Dylan fed her koi, I took every last bloom on her bush. Sorry, Randy!

I started with this harissa recipe and this rose harissa recipe, then, as expected, I did some swapping and swerving to come up with this - my own version of rose harissa.


  • 4 C roasted red peppers, skinned and deseeded
  • 1 t ground guajillo chile
  • 2 t crushed garlic
  • 1/2 C dried, organic, food-grade rose petals
  • 1 C organic, food-grade rose petals (Thanks, Belle!)
  • peel from 1 clementine
  • pinch of saffron
  • 1/2 t ground ginger
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 t ground coriander
  • 2 t organic brown sugar
  • 1 T rose water
  • 1 t orange blossom water
  • 2 T sesame seed oil
  • 2 T olive oil

For toasting and grinding

  • 8 whole cloves
  • 2 star anise
  • 1/4 t brown mustard seeds
  • 1/4 t caraway seeds
  • 1/4 t cumin seeds
  • 4 cardamom pods

In a dry skillet, toast the above ingredients until they are aromatic and releasing their essential oils. Let cool, slightly, and grind in a spice or clean coffee grinder.

In a blender, in two batches, blend all of the ingredients form a smooth paste or sauce. Spoon into clean jars and top with a layer of olive oil. I garnished my jars with a few dried rose petals. Store in the refrigerator and use within a month.

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