This middle-eastern sauce is delicious in many ways. You can use it as an accompaniment to fish, chicken, roasted vegetables, as well as rice, or just spread it on bread.


  • 2 red peppers
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves chopped
  • 2 fresh red chilies chopped ( add less or more depending on how much heat you like)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon salt


Grill the peppers on high heat for 15 minutes until they are blackened all over. Put them into a bowl and cover with cling film. Leave them to cool. Once they have cooled remove the skin and the seeds. Grind the coriander, cumin and caraway in a pestle and mortar. Add the olive oil to a pan and gently fry the onion, garlic and chilies. When they are soft (about 6-8 minutes) turn off the heat and allow them to cool. When they are cool put all the ingredients in a blender and whiz up everything to a thick sauce.

5 Replies to “Harissa”

  1. Take half the amount of harissa this recipe makes and add a heaping teaspoon of freshly ground fennel seeds. To this add 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs and marinate for 3 hours. Grill over direct medium heat until proteins in meat naturally release from the grate. Flip thighs to one side of grill and finish cooking with indirect heat for about 15 minutes. Remove to plate. Loosely cover with foil.(To save on foil, use two cookie sheets.) Allow to rest 10 minutes. Wonderful flavor. Really good following day right from the frig!
    Next time will try toasting the coriander, cumin, caraway, and fennel seeds in a dry skillet. Then grind and mix with remaining ingredients to make harissa marinade.

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