Ian Hemphill convinced me to buy his Tunisian spice mix when we were at Herbie’s in Rozelle but my first experiment with it was somewhat “blah” to be honest. I actually LOVE Harissa mix and I was expecting the same full fragrant result from the Tunisian one too. So, what I did in the end is mixing Tunisian and Harissa together, creating this mix of mixes. And it worked very well.
I stopped deep-frying altogether since I was introduced to this wonderful kitchen gadget called ActiFry by a dear friend of mine in Istanbul. It uses so little oil and the results are quite good. In this recipe I fried the pumpkin cubes as well as the potato ones in ActiFry and served the dish on a bed of plain Turkish couscous. If you can’t find Turkish one any other type of couscous is fine.
½ pumpkin, peeled and cubed
1 small potato, peeled and cubed
2 large ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped (or use tin tomatoes)
2 tsp Herbie’s Harissa Paste Mix
1 tsp Herbie’s Tunisian Spice Mix
2 tsp oil and some extra for frying
Handful fresh coriander, chopped, to garnish
• For Harissa paste: Mix 2 tsp of Harissa paste mix with equal amount of water. Stand for 5 minutes and add 2 tsp of oil and the lemon juice. Stir to blend.
• Fry the potato cubes in ActiFry or deep fry them. Set aside.
• Do the same thing for the pumpkin if you own an ActiFry or simply boil them. Again, set aside.
• Heat the oil in a pan; add Harissa paste and Tunisian mix. Fry them until they give out their aroma. Add the tomatoes and simmer until it is sauce-like. Lastly, add the potato and pumpkin. Stir carefully so that the potatoes and pumpkin will not get mushy.
• Serve on a bed of couscous with coriander leaves on top and enjoy!