24 August 2009

Seeing red

I don't want to be the type of ex-pat who spends all their time moaning about how hard it is to get certain things in their new country (although I know I've already done that here a bit). My attitude towards this type of problem is to find a way to emulate whatever it is that I'm missing. OK, Marmite is one I'm not going to manage, but other things might be easier.

One food item that we grew to love in England was harissa paste. This is a hot chilli/garlic/coriander concoction which is North African in origin. We love it with cous-cous. It is possible to make harissa paste, but it doesn't keep very long (and a little harissa paste goes a long way). When I saw a recipe for tomato, chilli and pepper chutney, I wondered if this might be something we could use when our harissa supplies run out. I made a third of the quantities in the recipe, to test it out.

Here are the raw ingredients that I picked from the garden (except for the garlic which I only remembered after I took the photo). The small red chillies are cayennes, which were hot when they were still green, but which are now HOT!

This is the chopped mixture in the saucepan ready to be cooked.

After about three hours of cooking, the chutney is much reduced in quantity, but still has a vibrant red colour.

It will be two months or so before the chutney is ready to eat, but I'm looking forward to trying it already. The smell of it cooking was so pungent that it made the dog sneeze, so I think it will definitely be hot enough to replace harissa's kick.


Daphne Gould said...

That looks really delicious. Yum! I looked at the link you had and I'm thinking the green tomato and pepper chutney might be good if I need to get rid of a lot of green tomatoes later. Today I was making some different kinds of salsas. I keep thinking maybe I should be making some chutneys. I'd have to go to the sore though. I've been avoiding the vegetable section of the market, but I really could use some ginger.

Anonymous said...

Gosh, that looks so good, and so do all your veggies! Those peppers...........wow!

June said...

My husband loves harissa. I cannot wait to try this for him!!! THANK YOU! I always make Indian tomato chutney with apricots. Gets us through the long winters.