Smoky, spicy Harissa chile paste gives these chicken skewers a delicious kick on the barbecue before being cooled down with a creamy herb-yogurt dipping sauce.
By Taylor Kadlec
When I started seeing recipes using harissa, a spicy sauce typically used in Moroccan dishes, I figured I would try a pre-made version to see what it was all about. It was pretty good, but I wasn’t blown away by it like I thought I would be. I mean, people were talking about it like it’s the new Sriracha!
While I completely understand the appeal of pre-made sauces, this was another case where homemade was so much better. Compared to the store-bought version that I tried, my homemade harissa was spicier, smokier, and overall more flavorful. Best yet, this homemade version doesn’t take hours to make. All it involves is a simple broil of the peppers in the oven and toasting of the spices, and everything is ready to go for a whirl in the food processor.
If you aren’t a huge fan of spicy foods, you can tone down the spice a couple of ways. First off, you can take all of the seeds and membranes out of the peppers before you broil them. Second, you can use different peppers. Bell peppers aren’t spicy at all, so you could use a couple of those instead of the cayenne/chile peppers. You could also leave out the chipotle peppers, but I love the smoky flavor those add.
Even if the harissa is a little spicy, that’s what the yogurt sauce is for! The creamy dipping sauce cools off your mouth leaving you ready for the next bite.
This recipe is perfect for those gorgeous spring evenings when you can’t wait to get off work, change into a t-shirt and shorts, and simply be outside. Whether you want to sit on the patio and sip a beverage, go for a run, or do work in the yard, this recipe is quick if you make the harissa ahead of time, and from there you just let the grill do the work.
Taylor Kadlec is a lover of all things food including baking, cooking, and of course, eating. She is a self-taught baker and cook, and she shares her kitchen adventures on her blog Greens & Chocolate, where healthy cooking meets sinful indulgence.