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Recipe Category: Sauces » Main Courses

Home Made Harissa

Home made harissa is a bright red Middle Eastern chilli paste that can be used as a condiment, sauce or spread.

Makes: 1 cup
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
  • 1 red capsicum (bullhorn, if available)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely choppped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3-4 chillies*, seeds removed, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons caraway or fennel seeds
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Blacken the skin of the capsicum on all sides directly over a gas flame or under the grill. Wrap in foil and allow to cool before rubbing off the charred skin and removing the seeds. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a frypan and sauté onions, garlic and chilli for 5-7 minutes until the garlic is golden and toasted. Add spices and cook, stirring, until aromatic. Stir in tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Use a small food processor to blend onion mixture, capsicum, lemon juice, salt and remaining oil together to make a paste. Use as required.

Harissa may be stored in the refrigerator in a clean jar, with a layer of olive oil on top and will keep for a few weeks.


* Chillies vary in size, heat and spiciness, so adjust the amount added according to your taste and the type of chilli you are using. If in doubt, carefully taste it beforehand!

Author: Naomi Crisante
Date Created: 30/05/2021