How to make Harissa paste

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

What is Harissa?

Harissa is a North-African chilli paste/sauce that consists of peppers, garlic, spices like coriander seeds, paprika, cumin, caraway seeds and olive oil. It is used as a condiment and is incredibly flavorful. It adds incredible depth and heat to any dish you add it to.

How to make Harissa paste

Ingredients

Full recipe with amounts can be found in the recipe card below.

  • Red bell peppers. 
  • Garlic cloves. 
  • Tomato paste.
  • Chilli peppers. I used a combination of Fresno peppers and bird’s eye chillies. Any red chillies will work.
  • Olive oil. 
  • Cumin seeds.
  • Coriander seeds.
  • Caraway seeds. I am not a fan of the flavor of caraway so I don’t include it in my recipe but feel free to add half a teaspoon to your harissa.
  • Fennel seeds. 
  • Chilli flakes. 
  • Lemon juice.
  • Salt and pepper.How to make Harissa paste

How to make Harissa

  1. Make the spice mix: Combine the spices in a small frying pan set over medium heat. Allow the spices to toast for a few minutes, giving the pan a shake regularly to prevent the spices from burning. The spices will become aromatic and start to pop. Remove from the heat. Grind with a pestle and mortar until fine.
  2. Char the peppers: The easiest way to char peppers is over an open flame, like a gas hob. You can also do it under a hot broiler. Char the peppers until blackened all around then transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to steam for 20 minutes then peel off the charred skin. De-seed the peppers and set aside.
  3. Make the Harissa: Combine the peppers, chillies, peeled garlic cloves, tomato paste, spices, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor and blend. Adjust seasoning if necessary then transfer to a sealable jar or container.
How to make Harissa paste

How long does harissa last?

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 use Harissa paste

  1. Use on chicken before grilling.
  2. Stir a spoonful into vegetable soup.
  3. Toss with vegetables before roasting.
How to make Harissa paste

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Harissa

Easy Harissa

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.
4.19 from 69 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Condiment, Gluten free, Harissa, Sauce, Vegan, Vegetarian
Cuisine: Moroccan
Keyword: Harissa, Harissa paste, home-made harissa paste
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Calories: 26kcal
Author: Alida Ryder
Servings: 300 ml

Ingredients

  • 2 red bell peppers charred and skins removed
  • 5 peeled garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 fresh red chillies I used Serenade peppers but jalapenos will also work
  • 1 fresh red bird's eye chilli
  • 5-6 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt & black pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

for the spice mix

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons dried chilli flakes

Instructions

  • Combine the spices in a small frying pan set over medium heat.
  • Allow the spices to toast for a few minutes, giving the pan a shake regularly to prevent the spices from burning.
  • The spices will become aromatic and start to pop. Remove from the heat. Grind with a pestle and mortar until fine. 
  • The easiest way to char peppers is over an open flame, like a gas hob. You can also do it under a hot broiler. Char the peppers until blackened all around then transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
  • Allow to steam for 20 minutes then peel off the charred skin. De-seed the peppers and set aside. 
  • Combine the peppers, chillies, peeled garlic cloves, tomato paste, spices, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor and blend.
  • Adjust seasoning if necessary then transfer to a sealable jar or container.

Video

Notes

  • Nutritional information is worked out per tablespoon of Harissa paste. The full recipe makes 300ml (just over 1 cup) of Harissa paste. 

Nutrition

Calories: 26kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Fat: 2g | Sodium: 20mg | Potassium: 59mg | Vitamin A: 405IU | Vitamin C: 14.4mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 0.3mg

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