Harissa- North African Chili Sauce

Harissa is a spicy, flavorful paste created with chilies and garlic, two of my favorite ingredients. I was introduced to this absolutely delicious concoction when I lived in North Africa, many years ago. I love to just dip my pita bread in it or use it as a chili paste in my chicken/fish recipes. The flavors are bold and outstanding. 

4 Guajillo Whole Chilies
4 De Arbol Whole Chilies
2 teaspoons garlic
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon whole cumin
1 Tablespoon olive oil

Soak the chilies in warm water for 30 minutes, pull the tops off and place in a blender with garlic, whole cumin, salt and olive oil. Blend for 3-4 minutes or until a thick paste is created, set aside in an airtight jar. Stays fresh in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks.

This recipe is a perfect pair for the "Harissa Chicken" recipe.  The recipe above shows you how to make this versatile sauce but use the Harissa Chicken recipe to really show off the flavors and create something unforgettable!

Perfect Basmati Rice

Basmati rice is a staple in Pakistan and India. This rice is known for its fragrant and flavorful nature. If you are learning to cook rice then my suggestion will be to start with Basmati, it is easy and forgiving to cook. With the whole spices and fresh vegetables, this rice comes to life and creates one of the most flavorful side dishes

2 Cups uncooked Basmati rice
1 Tablespoon canola oil (can use olive oil if you prefer)
2 Cloves
1 Green Cardamom
1 4inch Cinnamon Stick
1/2 Cup green onions, chopped
1 Red pepper, chopped
1/2 Cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 Teaspoon Turmeric
Salt to taste

Rinse rice gently and drain the water. Heat oil in a pan, add the cloves, cardamom and cinnamon stick. Let it sizzle for a minute. Add green onions, red pepper and cilantro. sauté for a minute or so. Add rice, salt and turmeric. Add 3 cups of water. Let it come to a boil and then reduce the heat and leave to simmer for 15-20 minutes. Serve with any entree.  

Garbanzo Bean Cucumber Salad

I love making salads and this is one of my favorites. The fresh combination of tomatoes, cucumbers and lime juice for a dressing is absolutely amazing! This salad is refreshing and I also love to use the leftover salad in a sanwich/pita for lunch the next day. The very simple dressing of salt, olive oil and lime enhance all the fresh flavors to come together. 

1 8oz can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 Medium red onion, chopped
2 Medium tomatoes
1 Cucumber, chopped
1 Cup green onions
2 Teaspoons lime juice
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon olive oil

This simple salad is easy yet powerfully flavorful.  My only tip on creation here is to go easy on the dressing by dressing the salad bowl instead of the salad itself.  By adding the olive oil and lime juice to the bowl then mixing everything together your salad will stay crisp and evenly dressed.  If you want some more of that great lime flavor top the sald with more lime before it's served.

Don't forget to upload this beautiful creation onto our Facebook page! I look forward to seeing my recipes on your dining tables.

Pineapple Salsa

This salsa is one of the easiest to make, especially if you want to be reminded of the beautiful summer times. My favorite way to serve this is on top of fish tacos, the flavors are outstanding. Imagine warm fish tacos with our Sajji Masala and this flavorful salsa on top of that, reminds me of the ocean and a sandy beach. 

1 Pineapple, chopped into small cubes
1 Red pepper, seeded and chopped
1 Medium red onion, chopped
1/2 Cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 Lime
1/2 Teaspoon salt

Add all the ingredients in a large bowl, mix well, add fresh cilantro, lime juice and salt. Serve as a dip or a fresh side salad. 

As mentioned above, this recipe is a must on your fish tacos or even with a quick Salmon bake!  We have a few great Salmon recipes and even a couple fish taco recipes so be sure to find something suitable for your next summer meal.

As always be sure to upload your creations on to our Facebook page!

Couscous and Garbanzo Recipe

Couscous is a very healthy grain and can be fairly bland unless bold flavors and fresh vegetables are added to bring out the best in it. As you know I love fresh, bold flavorswhich makes Couscous a very important ingredient in my kitchen to play around with. I think you will enjoy making this recipe because it is simple, delicious, quick and healthy. 

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 2inch Cinnamon Stick
2 Bay Leaves
1 Cup green onions, chopped
1 Jalepeño, chopped
1 Teaspoon White Jasmine Sajji Masala
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Cup cilantro, chopped
1 Red pepper, chopped
1 8oz can garbanzo beans
2 Cups uncooked Couscous
2 Cups warm water

Heat olive oil in a saucepan, add cinnamon and bay leaves. Add green onions. Add cilantro and jalapeno.  Add garbanzo beans and red pepper. Add couscous, salt and Sajji Masala, stir everything together. Add water. Cover the saucepan and turn off the heat. After about 15 minutes, fluff the couscous with a fork. Serve with an entree.