Harissa is a Moroccan spicy condiment made with  red chiles peppers and small hot chili peppers and spices. We eat harissa with braised dishes, sandwiches, soups, salads, couscous, omelets and etc. My husband likes to mix it with ketchup and dip fries in it or spread it on a burger bun. You can buy the peppers in Middle Eastern stores and even in some supermarkets (I buy them at Mexican supermarket). You’ll need a meat grinder or a food processor (blender won’t work).


Author: Shelly


  • 10-12 dried California chili peppers
  • 2 small red hot chili peppers
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar


  • Cut the stems of the California chilis and discard. Remove the seeds (it's okay if some seeds are left) and discard. You can slit the peppers to open and remove the seeds.
  • Cut the stems of the red hot chilis and discard but keep the seeds in. The more seeds the more spicy. So remove all the seeds for a mild harissa or add all the seeds for a spicy harissa. I like mine medium, I add 1 hot chili with the seeds.
  • Put the dried peppers in a big metal or ceramic bowl and cover them with boiling water. Place a plate over to prevent them from floating. Soak for 20 minutes and drain. The best way to dry the peppers is in a salad spinner, dry as much as possible.
  • Put the peppers in the food processor with the rest of the ingredients and process until smooth.
  • Store in a jar or container, drizzle a little bit of olive oil and keep in the fridge up to 1 month. I usually divide the harissa into 2 small jars. That way it doesn’t go bad. We give 1 jar to someone we love or freeze it until we finish the other jar.

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  • Reply Carmit March 30, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    Thank you! I made it and it came out delicious. I put six red small hot peppers and it was perfectly hot

    • Reply Shelly February 19, 2014 at 7:35 pm

      So glad to hear! Thanks:)

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