Awhile back Ricky’s mom gifted him a set of two jars of Harissa paste from the brand cHarissa. I had never cooked with Harissa before, despite loving the deep, earthy North African spice when I eat out. That is, until I finally opened one of the jars a few weeks ago and have been obsessed with it as a kitchen staple ever since. Opening the jar and smelling the deliciousness is enough to make me want to spread this stuff on everything!
Harissa is traditionally North African, is used in a number of dishes and cuisines around the world. Similar to most traditional condiments, the recipe changes between regions, but typically consists of hot chiles, garlic, oil, and spices such as caraway, coriander, and cumin. Harissa is wonderfully aromatic, and often used to spice up stews and soups, enhance grains like couscous and quinoa, and marinade meats and veggies.
I was most inspired to open the jar after our first trip to Cava, where I topped my greek-style dinner bowl with a dollop of the deliciously spicy condiment. The first attempt, I made something akin to tikka masala, by marinating chicken cubes in coconut milk, lemon juice, and Harissa. It was tasty, but needs some work. I love the flavor of the Harissa with meat, but I couldn’t help craving the spice with roasted veggies. Thus, these carrot fries were born. I tossed the carrots with a few tablespoons of the cHarissa, baked until slightly crispy, and served them with a cooling garlic tahini sauce. Decadent in taste, and Whole30 compliant too!
2-3 tbsp water, or until desired consistency is reached
1. Variations of cHarissa tend to be on the oilier side, thus I omitted adding any additional oil to the carrots. This also produced a bit softer, slightly soggy, consistency, which I adore (yes - I am the soggy fry freak)! However, if you want it crispier I advise using a less oily brand, and spraying the fries before with coconut oil spray. You can also bake them at higher temperatures, just keep an eye on them before the burn quickly!
1. Preheat your oven to 420°.
2. Chop your carrots into thin strips (refer to photos), add to a large mixing bowl. Add the harissa, and use tongs to toss.
3. Line a baking sheet with foil, and evenly spread out carrot spears. Spray with cooking oil if you are using.
4. Bake for 10 minutes, remove and flip, and continue baking for 8-10 more minutes, or until cooked to desired consistency.
5. Optional: broil on high for 3-4 minutes (careful to not burn) for extra crispiness.
6. While fries cook, make dipping sauce. Mix together tahini, garlic powder, mustard powder, dill, and lemon juice. Slowly add in water, continuing to whisk, until desired consistency. Garnish with more dill and serve with fries!