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Romantic Inspiration: Rose Harissa

Romantic Inspiration: Rose Harissa

Rose adds the most intoxicating smell and flavour to any harissa, the floral overtones help soften the chilies and give it a romantic floral allure.  Rose harissa tastes wonderful on just about everything from roasted veggies and eggs, to meat and cheese.     

Here is a simple one bowl quick rose harissa. If you want to cheat, you can also add some dried rose petals and a little rose water to any supermarket harissa you have on hand. 

  •  Tablespoon dried rose petals 
  • 1/4 teaspoon caraway seeds, ground in a spice grinder
  • 1 tablespoon pure chilie powder, such as ancho or ground dried chilies of your choice
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice or vinegar
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon rose water
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  •  Pinch of sea salt salt  (to taste)
  • Fresh rose petals as a garnish

In a mortar and pestle or spice grinder place dried rose petals and caraway seeds and grind into a powder. Add remaining ingredients and mix together. Garnish with fresh rose petals.

Secret Kiwi Kitchen Rose Harissa Pasta

Pasta with Rose Harissa and Parsley Blossoms

Rose harissa makes for a lovely and unique addition to any tomato sauce. The following recipe is a simplified riff on Ottolenghi’s ‘Pappardelle with Rose Harissa, Black olives and Capers. Feel free to use the pasta of your choice.


  • 2 Ounces dry pasta  per a person,  boiled al dente in salted water
  • ½ cup tomato sauce per a serving
  • Rose Harissa (to taste but plan on roughy 1 teaspoon per a serving)
  • Black olives, handful per a person
  • 1 Tablespoons capers  per serving (optional) 
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh parsley per a serving
  • 1 Tablespoon yoghurt per a person (sour cream or heave cream may be substituted)
  • Salt and fresh cracked  pepper to taste
  • Fresh rose petals to garnish
  • Parsley blossoms as a garnish 

Bring pasta to a boil in a pot of salted water. While pasta is cooking heat up tomato sauce in a pan  and add rose harissa, olives, capers, yogurt and  parsley. Once warm remove from heat and toss with pasta. Garnish with rose petals and parsley blossoms.




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