"A good meal is like a present, and it can feel goofy, at best, to give yourself a present. On the other hand, there is something life affirming in taking the trouble to feed yourself well, or even decently. Cooking for yourself allows you to be strange or decadent or both. The chances of you liking what you made are high, but if it winds up being disgusting, you can always throw it away and order a pizza; no one will ever know." (Jenni Ferrari-Adler)

Thursday, October 21, 2010


After dreaming about this day for so long, yesterday I finally able to eat normal food again, and what a better way to celebrate it than with this spicy North African delicacy spread on your lunch sandwich

This recipe has been adapted from the recipe submitted by Alya Lee Kong and found on Food52.com


3 New Mexican dried Red Chilies
4 Guajillo Chilies
1 Chipotle chili (gives it a smokiness)
1/2  Red Pepper (roasted)
2 Sun Dried Tomatoes
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tbs piri-piri
1 1/2 tbs coriander
1/2 tbs turmeric
2 garlic cloves

1tsp salt
Olive Oil
Lemon Juice

Rehydrate dry chillies and sun dried tomatoes (place in a container, add boiling water and let it seat for 20-30min till soften). Meanwhile, place red pepper whole in the oven (375F or 190C)  for about 20-30 min till skin starts blistering and pepper is soft.

Patch dry dehydrated chilies  and sun dried tomatoes. Open them up and remove all seeds. Do the same for roasted pepper.

If you have a spice grinder then use it, other wise you can use your thermomix or blender.  Grind fennel seeds, saffron, coriander and piri-piri (TM: turbo and purse 3 times). Add peppers and sun dried tomatoes garlic and turmeric and salt to the cup and pulse a few times adding olive oil 1 Tbs at a time until a thick paste is achieved. Check all seasonings. Add lemon juice to taste ( I added about 1/2 a lemon)

This can be kept in the fridge for up to 1 month.

 Note: If you have difficulties in finding these peppers you can use serrano pepper or any other kind of spicy peppers, or regular red pepper. Just make sure to roast any fresh peppers being used, or dehydrate then re-hydrate. In California most Latin grocery stores will carry them. Fresh and Easy in heavily latin communites  has them, or any gourmet grocery stores. I bought mine from Geltsons about 2.5USD a bag (containing enough to make this recipe about 3-4 times over).

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