Homemade harissa recipe

May 22, 2012 at 12:00 p.m. ET

Sriracha and Tabasco may have the monopoly as America's favorite hot sauces, but our money is on harissa as the next big thing. Made from spicy dried peppers, it's easy to make at home and will add complexity and a bit of heat to any dish.

Homemade harissa recipe

Once you sample harissa, you're going to want to always have a jar on hand. And lucky for you it's easy to prepare at home. A few dried and fresh peppers, garlic, and spices are whizzed together to create the ultimate spread. You'll want to put it on sandwiches, dip your fries in it and add it to soups. The best part is, you can customize how spicy to make it depending on what kinds of peppers you use.

Learn how to make a harissa marinade >>

Harissa recipe

Yields 1 cup


  • 2 ounces dry chilies of your choice, seeded
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Salt, to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Put the dry chilies in a bowl of hot water and allow to soak for at least one-half hour.
  3. Put the red pepper on the top rack of the oven and allow to roast until slightly charred, turning occasionally.
  4. Remove the pepper from the oven and transfer to a bowl and wrap in paper towels. Allow to cool, then wipe away the charred skin. Cut in half and remove the stem and seeds.
  5. Remove the dry chilies from the water and transfer to a food processor along with the bell pepper, garlic, coriander, cumin, olive oil, and lemon juice.
  6. Process until a thick paste forms. Season with salt and add more oil or lemon juice as needed for consistency and taste.
  7. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two months.

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