Homemade Harissa Paste

Harissa is like a spicy North African ketchup. Good on sausage or stirred into soups, harissa is also delicious when tossed with olives for a salty and spicy combination.


Makes about 1 1/2 cups

Recipe from


Recipe Time

Prep: 10 Minutes
Cook: 2 Minutes


2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
3 to 5 dried red chile peppers
3 garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
Pinch of ground cinnamon
1 (12-ounce) jar roasted red bell peppers, drained and chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil


1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a dry cast-iron skillet, and cook over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until seeds become fragrant and just begin to toast. Remove from heat, and allow to cool. Grind to a fine powder in a coffee or spice grinder.

2. Transfer spice mixture to a food processor or blender. Add garlic, sea salt, and cinnamon, and process to a paste. Add peppers and oil, and pulse several times to make a coarse paste. Store 2 to 3 days in an airtight container.

Sara Foster and Kim Sunée,


October 2007
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