5 from 2 votes
Prep Time
1 hr 15 mins
Total Time
1 hr 15 mins
Harissa is a Tunisian hot chili paste, which is sometimes described as Tunisia’s main condiment. Bright red in color, it is served with most meals as a dip and is often used as an ingredient in stews and soups.
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: North African, Tunisian, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 5 (1-cup) jars
Author: Betty Davies
  • 6 lb dried red peppers (ideally dried under the sun)
  • 1 lb coarse salt
  • 3 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 lb garlic
  • 6 oz. tabel (Tunisian spice blend, composed of ground coriander seeds, caraway seeds, garlic powder, and chili powder)
  • Olive oil (to preserve)
  • Meat grinder (with coarse plate)
  • Gloves
  • Surgical mask
  • Goggles
  1. It is very important to wear gloves, a surgical mask and goggles for all stages of the preparation of this recipe as peppers could burn depending on their intensity.
  2. Stem and seed the dried peppers.

  3. Soak them in a bowl of boiling water, immersing them completely, for 45 minutes.

  4. Change the soaking water twice.
  5. Drain the peppers in a colander for 1 hour and shake the colander to get rid of their water.
  6. Squeeze them with both hands to remove as much water as possible.
  7. Place the peppers on a large dry cloth and place another dry cloth over them.
  8. Press firmly on it to dry them well.
  9. Grind the peppers and garlic cloves in small quantities in the meat grinder (coarse plate), and into a large bowl.
  10. Mix the ground peppers with coarse salt and half of the oil with your hands. Grind the mixture again through the meat grinder.
  11. Add the remaining oil and the tabel. Mix well by hand and grind the mixture for a third time.
  12. Mix again by hand.
  13. Pour the harissa into sterilized glass jars. Pour olive oil on top and close tightly.
  14. Harissa can be kept for several months in the refrigerator.
Recipe Notes