Homemade Harissa Recipe

Harissa
Desgrieux / Getty Images
  • 15 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 5 mins
  • Yield: 8 Servings
Ratings (20)

Like spicy food? Do you crave foods with a kick? If so, add Harissa to any meal.

Harissa is a hot chili paste that is commonly found in North African cooking, mainly Moroccan, Algerian, and Tunisian cuisine. It is added to couscous, soups, pastas and other recipes and can also be purchased in Middle Eastern stores in a can.

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.

Recipes Vary

Harissa recipes vary among different countries but most versions of this spicy paste include a blend of hot chile peppers, garlic, olive oil and spices, including caraway, cumin, coriander, and mint. Other common ingredients include tomatoes and rose petals.

What Meats Taste Best With Harissa?

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 harissa. Grilled or oven cooked, it is sure to be a crowd favorite.

You can also use your homemade harissa to spice up a beef or lamb stew, soup, or appetizers and main dishes. Some Middle Eastern countries use it as a marinade for meat, like lamb or fish.

Spice Up You Favorite Hummus Recipe

Harissa can also add a kick to your favorite hummus recipe.

Hummus is a dip/spread that is made from chickpeas. In fact, hummus is the Arabic word for chickpea. You may notice that many hummus recipes call for garbanzo beans, not chickpeas. Garbanzo is the Spanish translation of chickpea. They are called cece beans in Italy.

Hummus is one of the oldest foods dating back to ancient Egypt. We know that chickpeas were used quite frequently over 7,000 years ago.

What You'll Need

  • 10-12 dried red chili peppers
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground caraway seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin

How to Make It

Soak the dried chilies in hot water for 30 minutes. Drain. Remove stems and seeds.

In a food processor combine chili peppers, garlic, salt, and olive oil. Blend.

Add remaining spices and blend to form a smooth paste.

Store in airtight container. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil on top to keep fresh. Will keep for a month in the refrigerator.

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