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Vegan Harissa Pumpkin

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
½ lemon
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!

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