Homemade harissa is very easy to make. How spicy you make it is up to you. I use a combination of New Mexico and Anaheim chili peppers, which are both on the mild spectrum of the Scoville scale, but you can pick hotter chili varieties if preferred.



Recipe Summary

10 mins
5 mins
15 mins
30 mins
1 cup


Original recipe yields 16 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Break up chili peppers, remove the stems and seeds, and discard. Wear disposable gloves if working with medium-hot or hot peppers.

  • Place chili peppers in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Let soak until softened, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain well, then dab dry with paper towels.

  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small skillet over very low heat and cook garlic until soft but still pale, about 3 minutes. Let cool, then transfer to the food processor together along with the chili peppers.

  • Toast caraway seeds, cumin seeds, and coriander seeds in the skillet over medium-low heat until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Crush them in a mortar and add to the food processor. Process while slowly adding remaining olive oil, scraping down the sides of the food processor as needed. Season with salt.

  • Spoon harissa into a sterilized glass jar and level the top. Add enough olive oil so the surface is covered and the harissa won't dry out. Seal and refrigerate.

Cook's Notes:

You can use mild, medium, or hot dried chili peppers to make harissa. You will need about 15 to 17 large chili peppers, more if you're using smaller varieties.

If you make more harissa than you can eat in 7 to 10 days, the best way to keep it is to freeze it in ice cube tray, then store the frozen cubes in freezer bags.

Nutrition Facts

61 calories; protein 0.8g; carbohydrates 4.9g; fat 4.6g; sodium 224.1mg. Full Nutrition

Reviews (1)

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Rating: 3 stars
I made this pretty much as written and it was okay but it was missing something, maybe a little lemon. But not really knowing much about harissa, I wasn't sure if lemon juice was acceptable and I didn't want to possibly ruin it. So I looked at another recipe in Bon Appetit and sure enough they added white wine vinegar and lemon juice to their recipe. So I went ahead and added 1 tsp of white wine vinegar and 2 tsp of lemon juice, gave it a whizz, and it was delicious! So thank you for providing the base recipe to start with. Read More