Harissa Chilli Paste, dark photo. Red chilli sauce photo

How to make Harissa, a North African Chilli Paste

Harissa is the ubiquitous chilli condiment found all across North Africa, easily made at home.
5 from 81 votes
Print Pin Add to Collection
Course: Sauces
Cuisine: North African
Keyword: chilli, spicy
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 27 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 140kcal
Author: Azlin Bloor


  • 10 dried red chilli peppers heat level, your choice
  • 1 large ancho chilli
  • 2 fresh red chillies of your choice I like plain old jalapeños
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp ground coriander seeds
  • ½ tsp ground caraway seeds
  • 2 medium cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 3 Tbsp EV olive oil plus more to "seal"


  • Using a pair of kitchen scissors, cut the dried chillies in half or thirds.
  • Soak them all together in a bowl of hot water for 20 minutes.
  • In the meantime, dry fry the cumin, coriander and caraway seeds on medium heat for about 2 minutes until fragrant. Don't let them burn.
  • Drain the chillies. If you discard the seeds, your harissa will be less spicy.
  • Grind the spices in a coffee or spice mill until finely ground.
  • Place the chillies, garlic, salt, lemon juice and olive oil in a food chopper and blitz to a fine paste, scraping down the sides if necessary.
  • Add the ground spices, and blitz to mix.
  • Store in a sterilized jar , top with a thin layer of olive oil and store in the fridge.
  • Use as you want, it should last for 2-3 weeks in the fridge.


Calories: 140kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 594mg | Potassium: 259mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 2863IU | Vitamin C: 38mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Mention @azlinbloor and tag #linsfood!
Made it? Upload your photosMention @azlinbloor and tag #linsfood!