It’s a long weekend here in Singapore. 19th and 20th of February are Chinese New Year holidays and Saturday and Sunday are non-working days for most of us. So yah four freaking days of holidays. Cool stuff aye?Although it is the “holidays” right now, I am definitely not shaking my legs, with an
Although it is the “holidays” right now, I am definitely not shaking my legs, with an avocado quesadilla in my right hand and a pina colada in my leftie. I have been pretty much engaged in the kitchenette. Not Maya’s kitchenette, because I am spending the holidays at my brother’s place. I have been here for almost 30 hours and the things I have made so far are,
- Sweet and sour fish
- Stir-fry vegetables
- Oreo cheesecake
- Red velvet and cheesecake squares
- No-bake granola cheesecake
Yes, that is a whole lot of cheesecake, I know!
Oh, I did toasts too, does that count as cooking?
It is always fun to spend time with the nieces who are aged 15 and 17 respectively. Just a couple of hours ago, all 3 of us were lying on the bed and singing away to a couple of songs. Although, we sang in our best of voices, the neighbors still came knocking. Some people just don’t appreciate good music
Anyways, I am a huge fan of Nigella and Jamie Oliver
and Anna Olsen and Donna Hay and Ina Garten and Rachel Ray.
Coming from a country like Singapore, it is not the easiest of task to find a certain ingredient that Jamie might have used in the previous episode of 30 minute meals. I am a qualified hogger when it comes to grocery shopping, I would buy any ingredients that I think would be difficult for me to get in future, just in case I need it for the time to come.
This bottle of harissa was one of those things.
I know I have seen Jamie using it.
I know Rachel ray raved about it.
I know I had to buy it
I DO not know what I would make out with it.
Purchased. Kept in the pantry and forgotten.
As usual one fine day while I was searching for ideas to prepare dinner, while staring at the pantry, the bottle of harissa literally yelled out loud to me. I just had to rescue it from the pantry.
For those of you who are not sure as to what Harissa is, it is actually a spicy chili paste that is widely used in Middle Eastern and North African cuisine. It is basically a mix of hot chili, garlic, olive oil, coriander, cumin and a few other ingredients. Harissa is mostly available as a paste in jars and tubes, but a powder version is also available. You do not need to use the whole jar of Harissa unless you are planning to have a stay over in your restroom. A leetle bit goes a long long way.
Uses of harissa paste:
- Add a tablespoon of this paste to add a bit of fire to your curries.
- A dollop of this to a bowl of mayonnaise.
- A teaspoon of harissa paste would enhance your stew or tomato based soups.
- Can be used as a marinade for meat and fish
- Add a teaspoon of the paste to a bowl of olive oil and this forms a delightful dip for breads.
- For Moroccan tangines.
I added a good tablespoon of the harissa paste to a meatball stew that I made. I paired the meatballs with lemon couscous and it was just perfect. Although I sprinkled chopped cilantro all over the stew but if you are not big on cilantro, you can use mint instead. This dish had an exotic touch to it! This would be delicious with crusty bread or these garlic and rosemary smashed potatoes.
This Harissa Meatball Stew are perfect for parties as these can be made ahead of time. Infact, you can cook this in the slow cooker too! The glorious combination of flavors of the spices and the harissa paste gives this stew just the right amount of heat that is sure to hit the spot and worked up an appetite. This is one dish that you can serve with pride.
I would be including a recipe of the delicious Lemon Couscous soon↑
Till then people! Toodles!
- 2 lbs ground beef (you can use chicken or turkey too)
- ¼ cup finely chopped onion
- 2 garlic - grated
- 2 tbsp chopped cilantro or mint
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 lb canned chopped tomatoes
- 2 fresh tomatoes, quartered
- 1 heap tbsp harissa paste
- 2 onion, chopped
- 2 green chili, sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp fennel powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- a handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh mint, chopped, optional
- 1 green pepper - sliced
- 2 tbsp cooking cream
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- Salt to taste
- In a large bowl, mix the meatball ingredients and make equal size meatballs.
- In a dutch oven/pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and brown the meatballs in batches and set these aside once ready. This should be a short process as you just want to brown the meatballs.
- Add another tablespoon of oil to the pot and fry the chopped onion and green chilies for 5 minutes.
- Mix in the garlic and cook further for about 30 seconds or just until fragrant.
- Add in the harissa paste, cumin, coriander and fennel and cook for 2 minutes.
- At this point, you can add the smoked paprika, fresh tomatoes, canned tomatoes, 1 cup of water and salt.
- Once the gravy comes to a boil, add the meatballs. Cook for 10-15 minutes till gravy thickens.
- Mix in the peppers and cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Lastly add the cooking cream and sprinkle some cilantro/mint over the stew.