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Cooking + Entertaining

Harissa: the recipe for Maghrebi hot sauce

Harissa: the recipe for Maghrebi hot sauce


Fresh red peppers

There Harissa is a typical sauce of Maghreb countries – especially Tunisia and Morocco – made with chilli, olive oil, garlic and spices such as coriander, cumin and mint: the result is a concentrated sauce bright red color and of decidedly spicy flavor. However, harissa can be found with varying degrees of spiciness, depending on the type of pepper used and the amount of spice. A particular spice that is used for this sauce is caraway, that is to say the meadow caraway: if you can’t find it on the market, you can replace it with the classic cumin.

The term harissa comes from the root somewhere – or pound, reduce to a paste – and could therefore also be translated by the word pesto: ma how to use it in the kitchen this sauce with such an intense taste? Harissa can be used both as seasoning both how INGREDIENTS: it is served with olives, like antipasti but it is also often used to flavor couscous or accompanying vegetables, to enrich soups and salads, or on kebab meat. We suggest you prepare the base sauce, taste it and possibly add other spices, chilli or salt: this way you can decide the degree of intensity that suits you best.

How to make harissa sauce

Start by washing the peppers and removing the stems: we suggest using gloves to avoid contaminating everything with capsaicin, which is really powerful. Cut the peppers lengthwise and also remove the internal seeds: let the peppers soak for 1 hour, better if 2.

Drain the peppers and grind them in a mortar, with the other ingredients: if you don’t have a mortar, you can use the blender, adding the oil slowly and a few drops of lemon to prevent the metal blades from oxidizing your sauce. Mix and add oil until the sauce takes on a very thick consistency.

Once ready, put the mixture in a glass jar and cover the surface of the sauce with oil: this will help the harissa last longer.


We advise you to consume the harissa within 3-4 days, taking care to cover it with a drizzle of oil each time you take it: you can keep it in the refrigerator, closed in an airtight jar or covered with plastic wrap. .

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