As I started exploring new foods and new cuisines, i started noticing the similarities between these cuisines and the Indian Cuisine I grew up with. For example the cuisine of North African countries, be in Morocco or Tunisia, there were many dishes that looked identical to what I have seen in some parts of India like Rajasthan . In such areas where the water is scarce, there is abundant use of dry spices and dry vegetables. That cuisines also uses a lot of lentils. So when I stumbled upon Harissa, it reminded of the garlic chutney we typically get in Rajasthan, the desert state of India. So anytime I see fresh red chilies in the market, my first thought is, let’s make harissa. As with many dishes, there are many variations of Harissa. My version is based on what I ate and then added some more heat since I love spicy food. I have made it with just fresh chilies and a mixture of fresh and dried chilies. I like the version with the dried chilies better. If you make it with just the fresh chilies the color is a vibrant bright red, whereas if you add the dried chilies, you get more of a brick red color. I also add roasted bell pepper sometimes if I want a mellower harissa.