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Homemade Harissa

Homemade Harissa

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This irresistibly smoky-spicy condiment lasts for a month and perks up everything from scrambled eggs to lamb chops.


  • 1½ teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1½ teaspoons hot smoked Spanish paprika

Recipe Preparation

  • Place árbol, guajillo, and ancho chiles in a large heatproof measuring glass. Pour boiling water over to submerge, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit until chiles are very pliable and cool enough to handle, 15–20 minutes. Drain; remove stems and seeds and discard (wear gloves for this part if you have them).

  • Toast cumin and coriander in a dry small skillet over medium-low heat, tossing constantly, until very fragrant, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a food processor, add garlic, and pulse until spices are broken up and garlic forms a paste. Add chiles and pulse until chiles form a coarse paste. Add lemon juice, vinegar, tomato paste, paprika, and salt and process until mostly smooth but mixture still has a little texture. With the motor running, stream in ½ cup oil. Process until oil is incorporated.

  • Transfer harissa to a bowl. Pour remaining ¼ cup oil over top.

  • Do Ahead: Harissa can be made 1 month ahead. Cover and chill.

Nutritional Content

For 4 servings (6 Tbsp. each): Calories (kcal) 380Fat (g) 41Saturated Fat (g) 6Cholesterol (mg) 0Carbohydrates (g) 5Dietary Fiber (g) 1Total Sugars (g) 2Protein (g) 1Sodium (mg) 320Reviews SectionI never would have considered making my own harissa pre-quarantine but here we are! I really wanted to make Harissa Chick Thighs but didn't have harrisa like I thought I did. This recipe was easy and the result was so delicious! I didn't have gualijos so used pasillas and didn't have anchos so used 2-3 chipotles from a can. Tastes amazing, can't wait to make my chicken!AnonymousFlorida, USA04/05/20I love this! I’ve made it several times with a variety of peppers and it’s always delicious. Adjust the garlic/amount of spices to your taste, but it’s very good as is. The only change in directions I make, I seed the dried peppers before soaking them. It’s easier and you can save the seeds to plant in your own garden.padams8North Carolina 01/11/20

Homemade Harissa Paste Recipe

The Homemade Harissa Paste Recipe is a versatile condiment/chutney that one must make to flavor a variety of dishes. Traditionally the red chilies used in a harissa is from a Northwest African chile pepper, but using local red peppers and dehydrated chillies also works well to get the flavors very similar to the original. There are a variety of recipes you can make with the Harissa Paste, from Pizzas to Pastas to Salads and many more.

Here are a few recipes that you can make with harissa paste

Homemade Harissa

If you like to fire things up in your life, like eating chillies, not setting stuff on fire&hellip you might very much like Harissa Paste.

It becomes an accompaniment at meals. Your friend in your kitchen. You cook with it, even if it is only a teaspoon of that perfect ingredient that makes your Steak Roll rollin&rsquo

It is also very easy to prepare and make your very own Harissa Paste at home. Right, so this Tunisian paste is used on meats and fish, in stew and as flavorings in Couscous. How divine?

Someday I am going to travel to Tunisia and eat all the Harissa and couscous I can find. How huge is Earth?

Anyway, my version of Harissa Paste is still very related, using the same type of spices, but somehow I can&rsquot do too much chilli leaving it more &ldquopeppery&rdquo than anything else. You can be the judge.

Or you can just chuck it all in a food processor to blend until smooth. It really depends how you enjoy it. Chunky Harissa is best for rubbing meats and chicken before roasts, or added to pasta sauces and bredies. Yes. All the Harissa is mine!!

Recipe Summary

  • 12 mild to medium hot red chili peppers
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • ½ teaspoon coarsely ground cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon coarsely ground coriander
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, or more as desired
  • 3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Remove stems from chili peppers and cut them in half. Remove all or some of the seeds if you want a milder harissa.

Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. Add caraway, cumin, and coriander and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir so the spices won't burn.

Toss chili peppers, spices, 1/4 cup olive oil, and garlic in a baking dish large enough to fit chili peppers in one layer.

Bake in the preheated oven until chili peppers are very soft but not burned, about 1 hour. Stir a few times to ensure even cooking. Let cool.

Transfer to a food processor and puree until paste-like but still a little chunky. Season with salt.

Spoon into a sterilized glass jar and level the top. Add enough olive oil so the surface is covered and the harissa won't dry out. Seal and refrigerate.

Homemade harissa

One of my secret food shames is that I don’t love spicy foods as much as would probably make me cool these days. I’ve got no Thai chile-eating bravado, no Sichuan peppercorn count to throw around, and I never even once in college went to one of those Buffalo wings places where they make you sign a waiver (such as the delightfully named, late Cluck U Chicken near Rutgers University) and lived to brag about it, the way others might boast about how much they bench press or how fast they run a mile (nope, nothing to swagger about there either). My ideal hot sauce can’t be found among my husband’s collection of Tapatio, Cholula and Sriracha, but in this Mild Sauce for Hot People, one of the few little orange bottles that I feel really understands my appreciation of heat in food, but not so much that it overwhelms everything. I accept that this makes me culinarily a wuss.

Yet I adore harissa, a Northwest African chile pepper paste with red peppers and spices and herbs such as garlic, coriander, caraway. Of course, when a condiment is used everywhere from Tunisia and Libya to Algeria and Morocco, you’re bound to find as many versions of it as there likely are people who make it, so there are recipes with cumin, lemon juice or even smoked chiles. There’s no one correct way to make it.

But there is the way I like it. In case you didn’t believe me when I’ve said that my queue of recipes I hope to share here one day is very, very long, I first made harissa in 2008, after The Wednesday Chef made a riff on the one Amy Scattergood had shared in the LA Times the fall before, mostly because I’ll cook anything Luisa Weiss tells me to. Using roasted red peppers, rehydrated chiles, garlic, spices and my favorite totally unhip ingredient, sundried tomatoes, it’s everything I wish bottled hot sauce were — robust with complex flavors, not just a vinegary punch.

So what can you put it on? All of the things, really fish, meat, couscous, beans or soups. You could swirl it into yogurt for a lovely marinade or mayo for a glorious dip. In my first cookbook, I made a honey-harissa vinaigrette for a roast carrot and parnsip farro salad and in the archives, there’s a beloved carrot salad with mint, feta and harissa. It’s had it’s fair share of play lately atop crispy eggs and latke waffles. It would be welcome in a fall-toush salad, or be an excellent gift for the “hotties” in your life, in small jars, although make extra, because I find this stuff hard to share.

And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Avocado Cup Salads, Two Ways
1.5 Years Ago: Yogurt Panna Cotta with Walnuts and Honey
2.5 Years Ago: Cinnamon Toast French Toast
3.5 Years Ago: Crispy Potato Roast

Homemade Harissa
Adapted from Amy Scattergood and Wednesday Chef

Which dried chiles to use? From Amy Scattergood: “Although you can make harissa out of virtually any dried chile that suits your personal heat index, most traditional harissas use chiles that are only about as hot as anchos or pasillas. Guajillo and New Mexico chiles, according to cookbook author Paula Wolfert, are the closest to the peppers of Nabeul and Gabès in Tunisia. Use one or both, or add a few chipotle chiles into the mix: The smokiness of the chipotles adds a terrific earthy note. Or, if you like more heat, add a generous handful of chiles de arbol or even some red-hot Thai chiles — the flavors will mellow a bit, though not that much.” For the total of 4 ounces dried chiles, I used a mix of 2 ounces negro, 1 ounce ancho and 1 ounce chipotle chiles.

My other changes were adjustments to personal taste I used much less garlic than the 4 cloves originally recommended, as I didn’t want it to overwhelm (and a single clove of the stuff I get at farmer’s markets is usually quite strong). And I added a little cumin, because I love it here. Finally, Amy recommends only using half your roasted red pepper but I always use all of it. We already know I’m a wimp about heat, but the final harissa doesn’t suffer any mildness because of it, just an extra boost of flavor. The recipe below includes these adjustments.

1 large red bell pepper
4 ounces dried chiles (see suggestions above)
3 sun-dried tomatoes, dry-packed
2 clove garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon coarse or kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon ground coriander (1 1/2 teaspoons seeds, toasted and ground)
1/2 teaspoon ground caraway (or 1 teaspoon seeds, toasted and ground)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (or 1 teaspoon seeds, toasted and ground)
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for storage

Roast your red pepper: You can do so in a 350°F oven, turning it every 15 minutes for a total of 45 to 60, until it’s deeply roasted on all sides. Some people prefer to do this over a gas flame, but be sure you cook it long enough that’s it truly soft inside, so it will blend well. Set aside to cool — you can do this in a bowl with foil or plastic over it, but I find it’s just as easy to peel a well-roasted pepper even if it’s cooled right on the tray, without the added steam. Once cool enough to handle, peel and seed the pepper.

Meanwhile, place dried chiles and sundried tomato in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let sit for 30 minutes, until well-softened. Drain and with gloved hands, if you don’t like living on the edge, remove the seeds and stems from the chiles. The sundried tomatoes can be used as-is.

Place roasted red pepper, rehydrated chiles, tomatoes, garlic, salt and spices in a blender or food processor with 1 tablespoon olive oil and blend until it becomes a thick paste a little water may be necessary to help this along. Store in the fridge, topped with a thin layer of olive oil. Use on everything.

Homemade Harissa

This homemade sriracha harissa is such a great little sauce to be able to whip out of the fridge. It really helps to elevate even the simplest of everyday meals!

Cooking for my wife

When I started dating my wife, I cooked for her about 4 times a week and for nearly 6 months I didn't cook her the same thing twice. I was so proud of myself because of the delight it brought her, but also excited everyday while walking to work thinking of new ideas & creations. Off I would skip like a bloody ballerina to the local shops and there I would be fingering the vegetables (easy on now, not in that way!) and sniffing the herbs. I was in beast mode in the kitchen. The honeymoon soon ended and it's been spag bol ever since!! Well, not quite that bad, but shortly after we moved to NYC the 70+ hr weeks with only 1 day off together. Life turned into too much takeaways, eating out and the odd very average homecooked meal.

Don't get me wrong, during the time in NYC I was fortunate enough to manage a Michelin starred restaurant. This hepled us being able to dine in multiple Michelin restaurants along with the amazing little holes in the wall. Truthfully though, a part of me was missing. Since as long as I can remember I have been cooking. It has always brought me such pleasure and relaxation. Now that we have a toddler and don't have the opportunity to get out as much. It certainly makes me try even harder than when we first met to produce fun and tasty meals for my wife and I. That is when I ain't visiting every playground in Brisbane.


When I started this food blog one of my key goals was to share tips with homecooks to allow them to elevate their everyday meals. But also to help them challenge themselves (in a good way) and take things up a notch in the kitchen. So often when we cook we are afraid to experiment and try new things. I have to say since moving to Brisbane, Australia my repertoire of dishes has HUGELY increased.

Toddlering & Exhaustion

For those of you with kids and those of you who work WAY too much you will all understand the difficulty in finding the energy to cook. After doing multiple loads of washing, hoovering the same room 4 times and spending 30 minutes before you leave the house getting everything ready to soon find out you forgot the most important thing. Your sanity!! So on the days that this is me, I find solitude in knowing that I have a well stocked larder and some great basic sauces in the fridge. These will all help me turn the most basic bitch of a meal into something semi restaurant quality - I hope!

Becoming a "chef"

Just throw a Jackson Pollock splash on the plate and hey presto, you're a chef! Right? This homemade harissa is certainly one of those sauces I always have hidden in the fridge. It's killer with most grilled meat and veg. Anything from some chicken, pork chops, salmon or even just a smear on a sandwich when all that matters is wine and the food is purely an afterthought. Check out my lamb burger recipe HERE for an example of where I have used my homemade harissa.

From start to finish in about 20 - 30 mins it's super simple & packed with flavour. Lets see some creations that you guys put together with it. Don't forget to tag me @another_food_blogger or pin me on pinterest for the chance to win. well, nothing but a smile on AnotherFoodBlogger's face!


    • 1 red pepper
    • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
    • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
    • 1/2 tsp caraway seeds
    • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
    • 1 small red onion, coarsely chopped (scant 2/3 cup / 90 g in total)
    • 3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
    • 3 hot red chiles, seeded and coarsely chopped
    • 1 1/2 tsp tomato paste
    • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
    • 1/2 tsp salt


We tried the spices and chilies both toasted in a dry skillet and fried in oil. Both methods heightened their flavors, but oil was best because the ingredients’ flavor compounds are oil-soluble. Adding the garlic to the mix mellowed its bite, and leaving the cloves whole ensured they wouldn’t burn (and meant less prep work). For the acid, we favored white balsamic vinegar for its mild acidity and slight sweetness. Lemon juice or white wine vinegar sweetened with a pinch of sugar is a good substitute.

Harissa Recipe Variations

Recipes for harissa can and do vary from region to region, depending on the ingredients available to the area as well as personal tastes. This recipe is more common, though you can easily alter it to fit your palate.

Consider using roasted peppers of any variety in lieu of tomato paste. Try fresh tomatoes as well, or sun dried tomatoes in oil. Here is one I made recently with a mix of dried and fresh roasted red peppers. It looks a bit different from the original photo, quite a bit more bright red, like my Harissa Sauce Recipe.

Experiment with different herbs and spices, such as mint, basil, even spicy chili powders or curries. You can also add more oil.

I often will include smoked and dried serrano chili peppers in my harissa as a flavorful variation. See how to smoke chili peppers.

There is no limit to creativity with this recipe.

Here I'm going to show you my go-to hummus recipe. It's really easy, you basically just put everything in a blender or a food processor and after some minutes, you have the creamiest, most delicious homemade harissa hummus!

All you need to do is place the chickpeas with garlic and tahini in the food processor and blend until combined. Add in the lemon juice, salt, harissa and olive oil to the mixture and blend until smooth and creamy. Pretty easy and simple.

Incorporating harissa in hummus makes it very tasty and delicious as it brings so much flavor to the classic hummus and gives it a kick. You can either use store bought harissa or make your own using this harissa recipe.

You can use harissa to make so many dishes such as lamb burgers with feta and harissa aioli.

Watch the video: Noodles με Λαχανικά. Άκης Πετρετζίκης (August 2022).