Harissa (Arabic: هريسة) is a North African hot chilli sauce whose main ingredients are piri piri (type of chilli pepper), serrano peppers and other hot chilli peppers and spices and herbs such as garlic paste, coriander, red chilli powder, caraway as well as some vegetable or olive oil. It is most closely associated with Tunisia, Libya, Algeria, and Morocco. It can also be found in countries with strong Arab presence such as France or Germany. In Israel harissa is a common topping for falafel.
Recipes for harissa vary according to the household and region. Variations can include the addition of cumin, red peppers, garlic, coriander, and lemon juice. In Saharan regions, harissa can have a smoky flavour. Prepared harissa is also sold in jars, cans, bottles, tubes, plastic bags and other containers.
In Tunisia, harissa is used as an ingredient in a meat (goat or lamb) or fish stew with vegetables, and as a flavouring for couscous. It is also used for lablabi, a chickpea soup usually eaten for breakfast. In some European countries it is used sometimes as a breakfast spread for tartines or rolls. Harissa paste can also be used as a rub for meat or eggplants. See also the Armenian porridge dish Harissa
- 10-12 dried red chilli peppers
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground caraway seeds
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- Soak the dried chillies in hot water for 30 minutes. Drain. Remove stems and seeds.
- In a food processor combine chilli peppers, garlic, salt, and olive oil. Blend.
- Add remaining spices and blend to form a smooth paste.
- Store in airtight container. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil on top to keep fresh. This harissa sauce will keep for about a month in the refrigerator.