How to make Harissa paste

 In Gluten Free, Recipes, Vegetarian, Videos

Subscribe

Get all our recipes sent to you for FREE!
Email address
First Name

Making your own Harissa paste is incredibly easy and once you taste it, you won’t be able to stop using it. Perfect as a marinade for meat or a fiery dressing for roasted vegetables.

How to make Harissa paste

My love of all things spicy has won. Again. I just can’t seem to stop it. There is nothing that excites me more than jazzing up a dish with spices whether they are hot or sweet or aromatic, all spices (and all things hot), just get me going. I fell in love with Harissa paste a few years ago when I first had it a Middle-Eastern restaurant, slathered over Harissa Chicken before the chicken was flame-grilled to juicy-perfection.

Since then I’ve been experimenting with this fiery, earthy paste with everything from vegetables and meat to fish and even in salad dressings. It is incredibly versatile and so easy to make yourself. And let’s be honest, the flavour of home-made Harissa paste can’t even be compared with the stuff you buy in the shops.

How to make Harissa paste

How to make Harissa paste

How to make Harissa paste

What I love most about making my own Harissa is that I can customise it to suit my palate. I am not a big fan of caraway seeds so I leave it out of my Harissa recipe but I add loads of garlic, smoked paprika and coriander seeds as they are my favourites. I also add some canned, chopped tomatoes to my harissa to bulk it out and add sweet, tartness. Traditionally, red bell peppers are used in Harissa but I found these sweet pimento peppers in my local supermarket and found that their sweetness really complimented the fragrant depth of the spices and the heat of the fresh chillies.

How to make Harissa paste

A jar of harissa paste will keep in the fridge for at least a month but I doubt you’ll have it for that long. Once you get into using this stuff, you won’t be able to stop!

How to make Harissa paste

Spices for Harissa paste

4.56 from 9 votes
Harissa
How to make Harissa paste
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
15 mins
 
Making your own Harissa paste is incredibly easy and once you taste it, you won't be able to stop using it. Perfect as a marinade for meat or a fiery dressing for roasted vegetables.
Course: Condiment, Gluten free, Harissa, Sauce, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 1 x 250ml jar
Author: Alida Ryder
Ingredients
  • 2 x red bell peppers/sweet pimento peppers charred and skins removed
  • 5 peeled garlic cloves
  • 1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes drained (include the juice for a more saucy consistency)
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 x fresh red chillies I used Serenade peppers but jalapenos will also work
  • 1 x fresh red bird's eye chilli
  • 5-6 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt & black pepper to taste
for the spice mix
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons dried chilli flakes
Instructions
  1. Toast all the spices (in the spice mix) over medium heat in a pan until fragrant. Grind in a pestle & mortar until fine and set aside.
  2. In a blender/food processor, combine all the remaining ingredients along with the spices then blend well until you have a brick-red, vibrant paste. Season to taste then transfer to jars.

Home-made Peri-Peri sauce

Home-made Peri-Peri sauce

Previous Post
Next Post
Recommended Posts
Showing 22 comments
  • Hannah
    Reply

    Quick, easy, very yummy – what else can I say! If I make it again I think that I will crush the garlic and finely chop the birds-eye chili, as this way I can stop blending before it becomes too smooth, as I prefer a slightly textured sauce but I’m not keen on chunks garlic etc. Will be perfect served with slow barbecued lamb shoulder and flatbreads etc,

    • Alida Ryder
      Reply

      Thanks for your feedback Hannah! So glad you liked it.

  • Ryan
    Reply

    Thank you very much! This was an amazing recipe. First time tasting harissa, and I’m in love.

    • Alida Ryder
      Reply

      I’m so glad to hear that Ryan! It is SUCH a delicious condiment.

  • Glen
    Reply

    What a great recipe. I’ve made it many times and just had to come tell you how much I love using it. My favorite way is to do as you said and slather it over chicken before grilling and it is by far our family’s favorite way of cooking chicken. Your recipes are always trustworthy and delicious.

    • Alida Ryder
      Reply

      Thank you so much for the lovely compliment Glen. That chicken sounds completely delectable!

  • Sandi Steuwer
    Reply

    My family was from French Algeria, and to this day continues to make the traditional dishes of North Africa. Just a side note to this wonderful twist on Harissa…If you allow the peppers to thoroughly drain all of their liquid, you can actually store it in a cupboard. Just make sure about one half inch of olive oil covers the mixture. My Aunties would make enough at a time for 6 months. I leave my peppers in a colander, with a plate on top, and when there is no more liquid in the bowl underneath, its ready to be blended with the spices of choice. No refrigeration needed. Great recipe, trying it today!

  • Sharon Miller
    Reply

    Is there a difference between a fresh red chili and a fresh red bird’s eye chili?

    • Alida Ryder
      Reply

      Bird’s eye chili is very spicy but fresh red chilies can also be used.

  • Joan
    Reply

    I just love your recipes and as you do, I just love spicy foods. However I suffer from irritable bowel and the doc suggested I stop eating foods that contain chillis. Im so upset, how can you make curry without chillis?? Please give us one of your fab curry recipes without chilli especially for those of us who dont tolerate them. Please Please….

    • Alida Ryder
      Reply

      You could definitely leave out any of the hot chillies in my curry recipes. I’m not sure which spices are allowed with IBS but I would go with adding all the regular mild spices (coriander, cumin, turmeric, paprika) and just leave out the chilli.

  • Reply

    Love this harissa Alida! So spicy. Just the way I like things. Can’t wait to try your recipe.

  • Tricia
    Reply

    The Harissa paste from my local supermarket is really not nice at all so I will definitely
    be making this. Many Thanks for the recipe.

    • Alida Ryder
      Reply

      Please let me know what you think once you’ve tried it Tricia! 🙂

  • Reply

    Thank you for posting this! I have always been curious on how best to make this. Now I know. I feel so very smart right now lol

  • Pang
    Reply

    I always love your gorgeous photos and awesome recipe, and this post is no different. I have longed to make this Harissa paste, so you can be sure I will make this very soon. Thank you so much for sharing this with all of us.

    <3 <3 <3

    • Alida Ryder
      Reply

      And how I love your beautiful comments. Thanks Pang! And let me know as soon as you’ve made this what you think of it!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Subscribe

Get all our recipes sent to you for FREE!
Email address
First Name
Antipasto platterSticky lemon-honey chicken