|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 4g||5%|
|Saturated Fat 1g||3%|
|Total Carbohydrate 18g||7%|
|Dietary Fiber 3g||11%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Harissa is a hot chili paste that is commonly found in North African cooking, mainly Moroccan, Algerian, and Tunisian cuisine. Recipes vary among different countries but most versions of this spicy paste include a blend of hot chili peppers, garlic, olive oil, and spices, including caraway, cumin, coriander, and mint. Other common ingredients include tomatoes and rose petals.
Harissa is considered the North African version of sriracha or ketchup in the sense that it is a common condiment; it is added to couscous, soups, pasta, and a wide range of other dishes. Harissa is sold in jars and can be purchased in Middle Eastern markets, but it is also simple enough to make at home.
One of the benefits of preparing from scratch is that you can adjust the heat to your liking. For a very spicy harissa, use a blend of cayenne, chile de arbol, or cayenne with a milder chile like ancho chilies. For medium spiciness, use a blend of New Mexico chilies with guajillo chilies.
Harissa can be used to season meats and vegetables, or included in a salad dressing for a spicy kick. It can also be stirred into hummus (store-bought or homemade) for another layer of flavor.
Gather the ingredients
Soak the dried chilies in hot water for 30 minutes.
Drain and remove the stems and seeds.
In a food processor, combine the chili peppers, garlic, salt, and olive oil. Process until blended.
Add the remaining spices and blend to form a smooth paste.
Transfer to an airtight container. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil on top to keep the harissa fresh. It will keep for a month in the refrigerator.
Incorporate into a variety of recipes and enjoy.
How to Use
- Harissa really adds spice and flavor to any cut of red meat, especially flank steak. Flank steak is thin enough that it really absorbs the flavors.
- You can also use your homemade harissa to spice up a beef or lamb stew, or a vegetarian soup.
- Turn plain olives into a fiery appetizer.
- Some Middle Eastern countries use it as a marinade for meat, like lamb, or fish.
- Use as a spread on a sandwich; mix with mayo to add a bit of a kick.
- Harissa can be a nice foil to sweet ingredients, like the dates and apricots in a one-pot Moroccan Cornish game hen dish.
- Olive tapenade is kicked up a notch when a bit of harissa is added.
- You can use whole coriander, caraway seeds, and cumin seeds in this recipe; toast them first in a dry skillet and then grind them in a spice grinder.
- If you'd like a little bit of smokiness, add a pinch or two of smoked paprika along with the other spices.
- If you don't care for the licorice taste of caraway seeds you can simply eliminate them.