Harissa is a spicy chili paste used in Moroccan cuisine to add smokiness and spice to the dishes. It can be used to flavour couscous, soups or as a marinade for chicken or fish. The main ingredient of harissa is hot chili pepper. You can use any variety such as peri-peri, serrano, cayanne, etc. Recipes for harissa vary according to household and region. Some like it very hot, some more smoky. Use the chili that you prefer depending on the desired heat level. For a lovely red color with less heat add roasted pureed sweet red pepper.
Ready to use harissa paste can be found in the specialty food section of your grocery store. But you can very easily make your own. You can store it in a glass jar with a layer of olive oil for freshness (Olive oil creates a hermetic seal).
100 gm dry red chilies
6-8 cloves garlic
1 tsp sweet paprika
2-3 roasted red peppers
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1/4 tsp salt
- Soak chilies in a little hot water for an hour, drain.
- Dry roast cumin and coriander in a hot skillet till fragrant.
- Put all the ingredients in a grinder and process using olive oil to get a smooth fine paste.
- Store in an airtight glass jar with olive oil poured on top.
Uses of harissa paste