A tub of store-bought harissa paste is an investment – it’s also of one my favourite secret weapons. I use it as a butter on fish, lamb chops, chicken and vegetables. It’s also particularly good when used to flavour pulao rice. The potatoes in this recipe can be boiled instead of fried. The mushrooms can be sautéed in two batches to reduce the amount of oil used.
4 potatoes, quartered
Sunflower oil for frying
500g brown mushrooms, quartered
4 T (60ml) sunflower oil
1 t (5ml) cumin seeds
1 onion, finely chopped
2½ t (12.5ml) crushed garlic
4 T (60 ml) harissa paste
1 t (5ml) coarse salt
4 cups (1l) boiling water
1 tin (400g) butter beans, drained
5 t (25ml) fresh cream (optional)
Heat oil on a medium heat. Fry potatoes until golden brown. Remove from the oil and place in a metal strainer. Allow the excess oil to drain off. Place the potatoes on absorbent paper towel. In the same oil, fry the quartered mushrooms until golden brown. Remove from oil and allow to drain in the metal strainer. Shake the strainer over the kitchen sink to remove excess oil. Heat the 4 T (60ml) of oil and fry cumin seeds until they begin to sizzle. Sauté the onion until golden brown. Add crushed garlic and stir in the harissa paste. Mix for a second or two, taking care not to burn the spices. Add the fried mushrooms, potatoes and salt. Pour in the boiling water and simmer until the potatoes are tender and the sauce thickens to coat the vegetables. Drop in the drained butter beans and heat through. Stir in fresh cream. Garnish with fresh mint and coriander.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
– Serve as a starter with warm, crusty bread.
– Use as a filling for wraps.
– As an alternative, add chicken fillets after the onion and harissa paste.
– The Spekko Long Grain Parboiled Rice or Spekko’s India Gate Parboiled Basmati Rice can also be used for this dish!