Prep time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes

Serves: Makes one 200g jar

Calories: 318

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A spicy condiment from the Middle East that adds flavour and heat to any dish you may add it to – needed in every international kitchen!


  • 10-12 dried red chili peppers, (weight about 50g)
  • 1 teaspoon whole coriander
  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin
  • 7 to 8 mint leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil Click here to buy 
  • 4 tablespoons white vinegar Click here to buy
  • 1 teaspoon sugar(optional)
  • additional olive to top



1. Lightly roast chilies on a pan.

2. Soak the dried chilies in hot water for 30 minutes to an hour, until they are soft.

3. While chilies are soaking, lightly roast coriander and cumin a pan on low to medium heat. Keep moving spices as they roast so they don’t burn. This should only take a minute or two. You want a golden color, not deep brown.

4. Grind cooled spices in a coffee grinder, a spice grinder or use a mortar and pestle until spices are powdered.

5. Combine spices with mint leaves, salt, and garlic in food processor and process for a minute.

6. Drain chilies and save water. Carefully remove stems and seeds (you may want to wear gloves for this, or just wash thoroughly after.

7. Add chilies, olive oil, vinegar, and sugar (if using) to food processor. Blend. Add a tablespoon of reserve liquid if paste is too thick.

8. Blend for 1-2 minutes until you get a smooth thick paste. I like the consistency similar to tomato paste.

9. Pour into a clean jar, cover harissa with about 2 millimeters of olive oil, and refrigerate. Makes one 200g jar.


Critical Ingredients:

Chilies, spices, salt, and olive oil and vinegar are all necessary. I like to add sugar as sometimes there is a bitterness that creeps in with roasted chilies. I used Indian Kashmiri chilies, which are high in color and low in heat, but you can use any chilies. If using sweet chilies, add ¼ teaspoon ground red chili for added heat. I prefer white vinegar, as it doesn’t take away from the spice flavors, but you can use any vinegar or even lemon juice if you prefer.






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