1 Dec

A North African chili paste/sauce that is most closely related with Tunisia, Libya, and Algeria. More recently it has been incorporated into Moroccan cooking. Some traditional uses are as a spice rub on meats, added to soup or stew, flavoring couscous or rice. With a little help from a recipe on Saveur.com I was on my way. I made it for a Moroccan carrots recipe but we ended up using it on fish cakes and mixing it into rice. I think people were secretly eating it by the spoonful, as fast as it went!

Time: 10 minutes + soak          Yield: 2 cups


  • 3 oz. dried Guajillo chilies – about 15, stemmed & seeded (wear gloves to be safe)
  • 2 oz. dried New Mexico chilies – about 13, stemmed & seeded (wear gloves)
  • 1/2 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp packed fresh mint leaves
  • 1 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, plus more as needed

How to make it

  • Place chilies in a large bowl. Cover with boiling water. Let sit until softened, about 30 minutes.
  • Drain chilies and place in bowl of food processor, fitted with S-blade. Add caraway, coriander, cumin, mint, salt, garlic and lemon juice. Process until smooth, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl. Add olive oil. Process until well incorporated.
  • Spoon paste into a sterilized 2-pint glass jar. Top with a layer of olive oil. Secure lid and refrigerate. Add more olive oil as you use it, always making sure there is a thin layer on top so it does not dry out. Use within 3 weeks.

2 Responses to “Harissa”


  1. Moroccan Carrots With Harissa « detroittokyo - December 2, 2012

    […] 1 tsp harissa […]

  2. Honey Lemon Lamb En Brochette | detroittokyo - June 5, 2013

    […] The dish is also served with Harissa… […]

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