How To Make Harissa Paste


Step 1Use a combination of your favourite chilies. I used dried Guajillo, Ancho and Chipotle chilies and fresh sweet bell peppers. This combination results in moderately-mild spicy harissa. If you prefer more heat, add some Arbol chilies or skip the bell peppers.

Step 2Start by roasting the bell peppers in an oven preheated to 175 °C/ 350 °F (fan assisted), or 195 °C/ 380 °F (conventional). Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the skin is charred and the peppers are soft. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool down. Put a piece of baking foil over the peppers and set aside until they are easy to handle. Then, peel the skin and remove the seeds.

Step 3While the peppers are baking, soften the dried chilies. Place the chilies in a pot and cover with boiling water. Place a lid on top and let them sit for 20-30 minutes.

Step 4Meanwhile, toast the spices. Place the coriander, cumin and caraway seeds in a hot pan and dry-roast briefly for just a minute or two. Grind the spices in a mortar and pestle or a coffee grinder.

Step 5Drain the chilies, remove the stems and seeds.

Step 6Place everything in a food processor or blender: chilies, roasted and peeled bell peppers, toasted and ground spices, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, turmeric powder, salt, olive oil and lemon juice.

Step 7Process until smooth.

Step 8Place the paste in a jar and store in the fridge for up to a week.

Step 9Place any remaining harissa paste in an ice-cube tray and freeze for up to 3 months.