Harissa Paste

Harissa Paste

This traditional Tunisian condiment is hot stuff. The base is made from dried, spicy chilies. This blend of flavorful heat can add dimensions to vegetables, seafood, poultry, and meat dishes. It is also a treat when added to sandwiches. Avoiding highly processed condiments eliminates one of the major sources of unwanted fats and food additives in the modern Western diet. Condiments like this harissa paste are great way to explore flavor profiles from around the world. More importantly, making your own allows for the flavor profiles that bring you pleasure.


  • 10 g (approximately ¼ cup) dried chilies
  • 50 mL hot water
  • 6 fresh spearmint leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tbs sweet paprika
  • 2 tsp. caraway seed
  • 2 tsp. coriander seed
  • 1 tsp. cumin seed
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. fresh ground black pepper
  • 20 mL olive oil


Bring water to a boil. Pour off 50 mL and soak the dried chilies. Do not discard the water; this will be incorporated into the paste. Once the chilies have rehydrated, place all the ingredients into a food processor or use a mortar and pestle if you like. You can vary the amount of olive oil to make the paste as thick or as thin as you desire.