Fiery Tunisian Harrisa

Total Time
Prep 25 mins
Cook 10 mins

Try rubbing this chile paste on meats or fish before searing or grilling, or stir a small spoonful into some mayonnaise for a sandwich spread with a kick. Also mix a dollop into butter and toss with steamed veggies or couscous. The hotter the chiles, the hotter the harissa, so experiment and use sparingly to taste. Enjoy!

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Remove seeds and stems from chiles. Cover in boiling water and set aside for 20 minutes to plump and rehydrate.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat a small dry skillet over medium-high heat and toast cumin, coriander and caraway seeds for 2 to 3 minutes, until seeds are fragrant and begin to pop. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Transfer seeds to a blender and grind them to a powder.
  3. Drain chiles and add to blender with garlic, olive oil and salt. Blend to a smooth paste. Cover and keep in refrigerator for up to 2 months.
Most Helpful

OH WoW!!! I've never had Harrisa before (that I know of!) and what a nice surprise. I subbed a tsp. of cumin powder instead of the cumin seeds - not sure if that was the equivalency but it sure seemed to work. I've been licking my spoons on this one-It starts off mild and then the flavor just blooms in your mouth. I can't wait to make it in a recipe.

cookiedog June 13, 2010

Talk about being hot! And I quite expected that, too, because the only way to enjoy harissa, is to enjoy it hot and spicy. But I really also tasted the garlic, and that never had that before. I think in some ways, tasting the garlic is very good, simply because if you're going to make something garlic-y, you might as well go all the way. It makes a nice addtion to plain hummus and plain tahini.

Studentchef August 17, 2013

This was so easy! I made this sauce and "marinated" chicken breasts in it and then grilled the chicken for dinner. I was scared that it was going to be to hot for the kids, but the gobbled it right up and wanted more. My husband really loved this as did I. We had never had harissa either and were pleasantly surprised at how much we loved this. Thanks so much Nif! Made for the Morocco & Tunisian round of ZWT9 for Tasty Testers.

ElizabethKnicely August 14, 2013