{Whole30} Coconut Harissa Curry Braised Chicken

Chicken thighs and butternut squash with coconut milk spiced with curry and harissa – super tasty and ohhh  so delicious!

Isn’t it upsetting that nobody from your folks eats your food expect you?? My youngest brother and two of my sisters told me that I have a weird taste buds. Does a sandwich with crispy fried chicken + strawberry jam sounds weird to you? Hmm, how about a cold/room temperature instant noodles paired with chicken nuggets that have been fried hours ago? Chocolate drink (Milo) being mixed with rice and canned corned beef?? The combos are amazing!! Why is everybody telling me that they are weird? Even my friends… whyyy?? C’mon… don’t puke now! We have different taste buds and mine is somehow really unique… Yes, that’s it!! It’s unique, not weird!

Enjoying your food alone feels upsetting, yes. It’s like you want to ask them ‘Hey, what’s wrong with my food?’ Or ‘Is there something wrong with my cooking??’ But sometimes, it’s nice having to eat them all by myself. Hey, I am not selfish. They don’t like the dish I cooked, what can I do??

At some point, you will REALLY ask yourself – ‘This is really good, how come they don’t like it?’ But again, you will come back to the answer ‘we all have different taste buds’. Am I making sense? 

This dish I am sharing now, I enjoyed it ALONE. And I don’t think it’s weird at all. And it doesn’t taste bad. Imagine chicken thighs and butternut squash with coconut milk spiced with curry and harissa. Do you NOW agree that it is super delicious?

This dish is super tasty. The smell of the dish, while I was cooking this, was all over the place and it was so tempting not to even try. I hope you are not doubting the yumminess of the dish – you know I will not share this I didn’t like the dish. Go on, make the dish and you will know that I am telling the truth! 😛

I am sharing this lovely dish at this week’s Fiesta Friday #186 with Alex @ Turks Who Eat and Colleen @ Faith, Hope, Love & Luck, our co-hosts. Also, thanks to the amazing Angie.

Whole30 Coconut Harissa Curry Braised Chicken


  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 2 cups onion, chopped
  • 1 cup butternut squash, cut into ¾ inch cubes
  • ¼ cup homemade harissa
  • 1 tsp curry powder (I used McCormick)
  • 1 ½ can coconut milk
  • 3 handfuls baby spinach


  1. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper.
  2. In a large pot over high heat, add in olive oil. Add in seasoned chicken thighs, skin side down. Cook 2-3 minutes each side.
  3. Lower the heat to medium. Add in in onions and cook until caramelizes (about 5-8 minutes). Add in garlic and cook for further 2 minutes.
  4. Add in chicken thighs, butternut squash, curry powder, harissa and half of the coconut milk. Simmer for about 15 minutes.
  5. Check the squash if it is cooked. If yes, add in the remaining coconut milk and let it boil.
  6. Turn off the heat. Season with salt and pepper. Add more harissa if desired. Add in baby spinach and cover until wilted.

Source recipe: Coconut Harissa Curry Braised Chicken  by Table for Two Blog


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Harissa Spiced Roasted Chicken

Chicken pieces spiced with homemade harissa – spicy, sweet and delicious! This can be marinated ahead of time and roast the next day.

It’s funny how we complain about things without (sometimes) thinking that there are situations crazier than ours. I was just going through my drafts and saw less than 15 drafts to get rid of.  Then I’ve read Angie’s post and she has 61, while Mollie was down to 70 from 170. Wow! I laughed at myself. Now, I need to start getting rid of them. I have trashed some already, not because I don’t like the taste, but because I didn’t like the photo and I cannot take another photo after realizing that. Why not? Well, they’re already gone – swimming inside my tummy!

To get rid of my drafts, I am starting off with this one – Harissa Spiced Roasted Chicken. Super easy recipe, yet so good! You start off my mixing your spices, rub them all over the chicken pieces and add the veggies. Next thing is you roast them. Now, you can relax while waiting or you can muli-task. I’ll take the multi-tasking part! 😀


This dish came out a little lemony since I included lemon wedges with the chicken and other veggies while roasting. I am sure you can just squeeze lemon juice – it’s up to you. I used homemade harissa and my tummy was very happy!

I hope I am not that late to this week’s Fiesta Friday #182, co-hosted by Liz @ Spades, Spatulas & Spoons and Jenny @ Jenny Is Baking. Thanks, ladies and Angie!

Harissa Spiced Roasted Chicken


  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 3 tsp harissa paste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 chicken (I used drumsticks and thighs)
  • ½ lemon, sliced in wedges
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 150g cherry tomatoes, halved


  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. In a small bowl, add crushed garlic, harissa paste, olive oil and a pinch of salt. Give it a good mix and rub all over the chicken pieces. Place in a baking dish.
  3. Add in sliced onion, tomatoes and lemon wedges, making sure that all seeds have been removed.
  4. Roast for 40-50 minutes or until chicken is cooked through, turning the pan halfway through cooking.

Source recipe: Sainsbury’s Magazine


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Featured at Melt in your Mouth Monday Recipe Blog Hop #319


{Whole30} Harissa Sweet Potato Fries

A very nice replacement to naughty deep-fried potatoes and this is Whole30 compliant. This has lesser oil, no flour or breadcrumbs for the coating – so this is gluten-free, too. 

I haven’t been getting enough sleep lately. I wake up in the middle of the night and it is very difficult to go back to sleep again. When I get up for work, I thought I just took a nap. Still, I don’t feel that sleepy. It’s like I’ve swallowed a bunch of energizer battery. I am not complaining – I love being hyper. But having that much of energy in the middle of the night is not good!

Do not tell me about drinking chamomile tea. I tried – it didn’t work. I tried again, it didn’t work. I even bought dried chamomile flowers – still didn’t work. Do I have to drink the whole packet of dried flowers? Hmm, I guess my body has too much energy that a cup or two of chamomile tea is not strong enough to calm me down.

I’ve stayed like that for weeks – I wanted to get up and do the laundry at 1am or iron my clothes, or even do this harissa sweet potato fries again… only if I bought a huge bag of sweet potatoes.  I would have enjoyed this all by myself. But with that very lovely smell coming from this – I don’t think so. The neighbors might ring the bell, too. 😀

This sweet potato fries is flavored with harissa and contains less oil. The coating doesn’t include oil except the oil that comes from harissa. I’ve used the harissa I’ve made and it was irresistibly good!

I served this with harissa-tahini sauce and it was crazy good! I have also tried with homemade harissa and wow – also really good! I haven’t tried the store-bought harissa, but I guess it would do just fine. I am sure this would be great with mayonnaise and ketchup, too. 😉

I am sharing this healthy stuff at Fiesta Friday #178!. Thanks for the amazing party, Angie!

Harissa Sweet Potato Fries


  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 4 tsp harissa
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper greased with little olive oil.
  2. Scrub the sweet potatoes and wash thoroughly. Slice into fries and place in a bowl or ziplock bag.
  3. Add in harissa, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Mix to coat the sweet potatoes.
  4. Place in the prepared baking pan, making sure to put them in a single layer, not crowded.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cooked and tender.
  6. Serve immediately with harissa-tahini sauce, mayonnaise, ketchup or harissa.

Source recipe: Harissa Sweet Potato Fries by Wall Flower Kitchen


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Harissa-Tahini Sauce

Tahini sauce with an upgrade with the help of harissa – this sauce is irresistibly good and will take your food to a whole new level

Tahini sauce and I were first introduced to each other by a friend when we were eating our falafel sandwich. It was like “Juju, this is Tahini Sauce and Tahini Sauce, this is Juju.” It was real love that I even told my friend I want that sauce whenever we order anything from that cafeteria. I put that sauce in almost everything I eat! My friend always gives me her sauce and even tells me “here, drink your milk”. Yep! I drink the sauce! I made tahini sauce with harissa several times and brought it with me to go with our sandwiches at work and she was amazed as she haven’t thought of mixing harissa with tahini sauce. We’ve lost contact and haven’t had tahini sauce until I started doing Whole30.

While doing the Whole30 program, I needed a sauce that will be great with almost everything – roast veggies, roast chicken, salads, etc. Then an old love came back to my life – harissa tahini sauce. This suddenly became a very important thing inside my fridge that I panic once it’s close to an end. I get bottles and bottles of tahini and tubes of harissa. Well, that was before this homemade harissa. After making that harissa, of course, this amazing sauce has to be shared and to be the star of this post… so here’s the amazing harissa-tahini sauce.

Harissa-tahini sauce is simply tahini sauce with a level up. Harissa is added to give it a kick. Since harissa has a smoky flavor, it gives the tahini sauce a very fantastic ending! This sauce is superb with anything roasted, perfect with sandwiches, even with salad (I’ve tried this with chicken fajita salad and it was amazing), as a dipping sauce… and so much more!! I’ve also tried this many times with Elaine’s ‘Marinated Cauliflower Nirvana’ and it was insanely good!

Roasted Potatoes and Butternut Squash with Harissa-Tahini Sauce

I am taking this with me at the amazing Fiesta Friday # 175. This week is of course hosted  by the lovely Angie. Our co-hosts this week are Monika and Suzanne.

Harissa Tahini Sauce

Harissa Tahini Sauce 2


  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar*
  • 1 – 1 1/2 tbsp harissa
  • Salt, to taste


  1. In a bowl or jug, add tahini and lemon juice. Add water while whisking. (You can add little or more).
  2. Add in vinegar (if using), harissa and salt. Taste and adjust accordingly.
  3. Transfer to a thoroughly cleaned jar.


I like the taste of vinegar in this sauce. You can omit and replace with lemon juice. Then adjust to your liking.

The sauce will thicken slightly as it sits inside the fridge. If you want to thin it out, you can add water and mix.

This will be good until 2-3 days. I always finish this on the second day, and rarely be able to last until day 3 coz I finish it like crazy!


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Homemade Harissa

A fiery pepper paste that will surely enhance your dishes – it is spicy, smoky and way better than the store bought ones. 

Homemade Harissa 3

So I was once told by an ex-colleague that I cannot make my own harissa. Well, to my ex-colleague: guess what? I have made my own harissa!👊🏻😜

This is one of the things I’ve always wanted to make. Although it may sound very easy, I was still intimidated by the thought of homemade harissa. I got very good comments on the harissa-tahini sauce when I shared the recipe of Potato Hash With Harissa-Tahini Sauce, so I was inspired! Since this is my first homemade harissa, I started with the basic – only having lemon and garlic as the flavor enhancers. Next time, I will explore and add star anise and caraway like what Kellie did and also experiment on other dried chilies like what Elaine did. Truly, they inspired me both to finally make harissa.

Homemade Harissa 2

The harissa was insanely good – the smell, the taste, the color – everything!! I used the red chilies I have dried and used ancho chilies coz they were the only ones I had… but the result was fantastic that I was running around holding my blender to show off my first homemade harissa. After having that crazy comment that I couldn’t make my own harissa, why wouldn’t I show off? 😀 The harissa I am using from the store is also very good and very convenient, but making your own harissa is even better coz you know what’s in it, right? So why don’t you start making your own now? 😀 It is good for soups, with hummus, tahini and so much more!

Homemade Harissa 1

I am sharing this with my friends at Fiesta Friday at this week’s amazing Fiesta Friday # 174. I hope you will love this one.

Homemade Harissa


  • 2 dried ancho chilies
  • 2 dried red chiies
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 300g total of whole red bell peppers
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil


  1. In a bowl, add ancho chilies and red chilies. Add boiling water and cover. Leave for 30 minutes, until soften).
  2. While waiting for the dried chilies to soften, let’s roast the red bell peppers: Wash and dry your whole red bell peppers. Roast them until charred. (I roasted my bell peppers on the stove top, turning them frequently until charred and soft.) Click here to see ways on how to roast bell peppers. When the bell peppers are charred and soft, place them in a bowl and cover. Leave for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, place them on your work surface and peel those peppers away. Also, remove the tops and the seeds. Place in a blender (or food processor) and set aside.
  3. Going back to the dried chilies: When they are soft, take them out from the water and remove the seeds and cut off the top. Reserve chili water just in case you need them later on. When all seed and tops are removed, place them in a blender along with the roasted and peeled red bell peppers, garlic, lemon juice and 1 tbsp olive oil.
  4. Keep the blender running until you get the desired consistency. You can add from the reserved chili water, if necessary and/or add another tbsp of olive oil and lemon juice. Add salt to taste.
  5. Keep inside the fridge in a sterilized jar.


This recipe makes about 1 1/4 cups of harissa.

This lasted for 2 weeks inside my fridge.

Source recipe: Homemade Harissa by Half Baked Harvest


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Tuna Salad with Harissa-Tahini Sauce

Simple tuna salad with harissa tahini sauce as the dressing – very easy to prepare and such a filling meal

My colleague and I had a short talk:

Colleague: Juju, what did you have for breakfast?

Me: I had canned tuna and boiled egg. 

Colleague: What? Canned tuna? Isn’t very heavy on your tummy?

Me: It was just one can of tuna. It’s not heavy on my tummy *while holding my tummy feeling very full*

Colleague: I admire you – you can eat one can of tuna early. 

Me: I can eat anything anytime of the day. 

After that talk, I thought that maybe it was heavy… or was it just a filling meal? Or is the feeling the same?

Ramadan has already started and with the low energy I am having during this month, I need to prepare meals that are quick and easy, but very filling like this tuna salad.

This tuna salad has few ingredients that you may already have on hand. I was feeling a little creative, so I thought of having harissa tahini sauce as the ‘dressing’. I am very much happy that it turned out really nice. This salad has the mixture of tuna in water, onion, tomato, jalapeño, salt, pepper then harissa tahini sauce. They can be enjoyed like that or your can add lettuce or any other veggies you’d love. You can also add pickled jalapeños or other pickled veggies. Pickle relish works well, too.

I am bringing this delicious salad at the amazing Fiesta Friday party, hosted by Angie. Our co-hosts for this week are Lindy and Paula.

Tuna Salad with Harissa-Tahini Sauce



  • 2 canned tuna in water, drained
  • 1/3 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp jalapenos, seeds removed and chopped
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • chopped pickled veggies (optional)
  • Harissa-tahini sauce (recipe below, optional)
  • Lettuce, to serve (or you can pick any salad veggies you like


  1. In a bowl, mix drained tuna, chopped onions, tomatoes and jalapenos. Add salt and pepper according to your taste.
  2. Serve with harissa-tahini sauce and leaves/veggies of your choice.
For the harissa-tahini sauce:
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 3-4 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Warm water
  • 1 tsp harrisa paste
  • Salt, to taste
  1.  In a bowl, place tahini sauce. Start off by adding 3 tbsp lemon juice. Add water until desired consistency. Add in harissa paste (you can reduce the quantity or add more). Add salt. Do a taste test and adjust according to your preference. I love mine lemony, a little salty and not too thick and runny… and with a bit of kick from the harissa.

Thank you so much and I hope you enjoy! 

Happy Fiesta Friday and Ramadan Mubarak to all observing the holy month. 


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Spicy Tomato Eggs

A healthy comfort food that’s delicious, spicy and filling. It’s very easy and quick to make, too. 

Spicy Tomato Eggs - TNSCC 2

Last week, my boss asked me to do my most hated thing at work- FILING! I dislike filing stuffs more than I dislike cinnamon (does it have to be all food-related?). I didn’t have any choice, but to comply. I was started doing my thing when my colleague arrived with her kids. The 13-year old girl told me filing is very easy:

The 13-year old girl: Hey, what are you doing? Why all these folders on the floor?

Me: The boss asked me to file all these stuffs and your Mom knows I hate filing.

The 13-year old girl: Really? Filing is really easy. See, in my room, I have so many papers like you. They are filed according to subjects. 

Me: See, I also know how to file. I take the papers and stuff them inside the office cupboard.

And everybody laughed.

After our conversation, I started thinking “What if I just imagine my office files as subjects? Maybe I’d be better at it.” I still haven’t finished what I started, but I am getting there. 😉

Filing those loads of papers was not an easy task for me that it slowly drained my battery. During such times, all I can do after a tiring day at work is to prepare something comforting, easy and quick. Well, not a “5-minute quick”… it’s longer than that, but not too long.

Comfort food doesn’t have to be sweets all the time (Is this me talking?), pasta and all those big burgers and cups of rice… sometimes, it can just be as simple and this Spicy Tomato Eggs. Of course, egg should be one of my comfort foods. 😛

Spicy Tomato Eggs - TNSCC 1

I love dish that’s tomato-base, so I loved this dish a lot. I love how the chickpeas give texture to the dish, which I am sure dried (and soaked) chickpeas is better than the canned one. This is best served warm and with toasted bread. I hope you will love it.

Spicy Tomato Eggs


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 3 tbsp harissa
  • 2 x 400g canned plum tomatoes
  • Handful of coriander, roughly chopped
  • 2-4 eggs
  • 400g canned chickpeas
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Toasted bread, to serve


  1. In a deep skillet with medium heat, add in olive oil.
  2. Sauté onion and garlic until fragrant.
  3. Add in smoked paprika.
  4. Add in canned tomatoes. Mash plum tomatoes with fork.
  5. Add in harissa paste.
  6. Add in chickpeas.
  7. Simmer on low for 10 minutes.
  8. Add in some of the coriander leaves, reserve some for garnish.
  9. Using the back of the ladle, create wells for the eggs. Crack one egg over the ladle and carefully, remove the ladle, leaving the egg on the well. You can create until 4 wells.
  10. Season each egg with salt and pepper.
  11. Put the lid on and cook the eggs for 2 minutes or until the white is cooked, but the yolk is still soft.
  12. Garnish with the remaining coriander leaves.
  13. Serve with toasted bread.

Source recipe: Spicy Tomato Eggs by Donal Skehan

I am late at this week’s Fiesta Friday # 130, but I am bringing something I know you will all love. 😀 Thanks to our co-hosts this week, Aunt Juju and Petra. Thanks also to our lovely lady, Angie.

Have a fun weekend to all. Happy Fiesta Friday!


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Harissa Roast Chicken with Chickpeas and Feta

Spicy. Easy. Delicious. This would be a perfect dinner. 

Harissa Roast Chicken with Chickpeas - TNSCC 2

My closest friends know that I have an excellent appetite, but there are times that I still amuse them when I can fill my tummy again after 30 minutes of heavy meal.

Is it because my digestion is very fast? I really don’t know. Maybe it’s time for me to see a doctor.

I did see a doctor, but not because of that.

When I am given names of medicines, I always ask Google’s help with the side effects and all. One of my medicine’s side effects is ‘increase in appetite’ and I can’t help but ask myself:

‘How can my appetite can be any stronger?’

If only people’s appetites are students, mine will be the summa cum laude. 😀

Why wouldn’t be my appetite be that good if you see such beautiful dish?

Harissa Roast Chicken with Chickpeas - TNSCC 1

It was one of those times when I was looking for an easy dish to prepare and I was so lucky that I found this.

The chicken can be marinated overnight or can be just brushed with the sauce and baked right away, depending on your preference. I suggest to let it sit inside the fridge overnight.

The chickpeas and tomatoes are sauteed with onions and cumin, but I am sure this can also be marinated along with the chicken pieces. I haven’t tried, but I will give it a go the next time I make this.

The mint gives every bite a freshness and the feta gives a very little tang. Overall, this dish is absolutely delicious and perfect for a busy day.

Harissa Roast Chicken with Chickpeas and Feta


  • 900g chicken pieces, I suggest thighs and legs
  • 1 tbsp harissa paste
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • zest of half a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 400g chickpeas, drained
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Crumbled feta, to serve
  • Fresh mint leaves, to serve


  1. In a bowl, combine, harissa, honey, salt, lemon zest and juice and 1 tbsp olive oil.
  2. Brush chicken pieces with the harissa sauce and let sit overnight in the fridge. (Make sure the chicken pieces are dry before you mix the sauce.)
  3. Next day: Preheat oven to 400 F.
  4. Heat remaining 1 tbsp olive oil in a pan or shallow flameproof casserole.
  5. Add onion and cook until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and cumin powder, and cook for another 1-2 minutes or until aromatic. Add chickpeas and tomato. Transfer to baking dish. Take out the chicken pieces from the fridge and place on top of the chickpeas.
  6. Roast for 35-40 minutes until dark golden and cooked through.
  7. Serve with crumbled feta, mint and additional squeeze of lemon.

Source recipe: Harissa Roast Chicken with Chickpeas and Feta by Delicious

Harissa Roast Chicken with Chickpeas - TNSCC 3

I am late for Fiesta Friday # 118, but better late than never. Right, Angie? 🙂 Thanks for co-hosting, Kaila and Lauren. ❤

Happy Fiesta Friday!

Always wishing you a blessed day and full of smiles. 😀


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