Recipe: Harissa Chili Paste (or Harisa)

Harissa (also Harisa) is chili paste used to flavor many north african dishes, specifically in Tunisia, Algeria, Libya, and western Sicily. The condiment can be made mild, medium, or hot.

For those who don’t feel like making Harissa from scratch, middle eastern markets sell the paste in cans. Whole Foods sells Harissa in the spice aisle (you just add water and olive oil to make the dry mix into a paste).

The main components of Harissa:

2 ounces dried Guajillo chili peppers,
soaked for 30 minutes, seeded and stemmed

2 ounces dried Anaheim chili peppers, mild,
soaked for 30 minutes, seeded and stemmed

5 Garlic cloves, peeled

2 Tbsp water

2 Tbsp Olive Oil, plus extra

1/2 tsp ground caraway

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1 1/2 tsp salt

1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until mixture creates a paste.

2. Cover with extra olive oil and store in the refrigerator.

Adapted from A Mediterranean Feast, Clifford Wright
Opt In Image
Hungry for more?
Be notified when National Geographic releases my memoir.

Simply fill in your details below.


  1. Grammie Sue aka Mom aka susan says:

    Storing/marianating sounds like a great step….makes me think of how much improved crepes are when the batter has sat overnight or longer…

    Love your illustrations.

    Watch out that in your efforts to “get it done” you do not become too clinical…love the editorial asides as they are what make your writings/communication on cooking unique! Remember…you were appointed Editor of the CIA newspaper because of your abilities.

    Ohhh Maaaa….

  2. oooooh yes, make it spicy hot please! :-)~

  3. Janet Goodell says:

    How many little peppers makes 2 ounces?

Speak Your Mind