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Homemade Harissa Paste

Harissa is a north African spice paste, usually made up of red chillies, peppers and spices. Having a jar of homemade harissa in the fridge is such a handy go-to to spice up any meal, as it works beautifully with vegetables, fish and meat. Get creative with flavouring your harissa, rose petals add a beautiful freshness, as well as orange zest, or a green harissa alternative by mixing up the chillies and peppers for green ones.

Makes approx. 150ml


5 dry red chillies

2 roasted red peppers, skin removed (jar peppers will work fine here)

4 garlic cloves

1 tsp caraway seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp coriander seeds

1 tsp paprika

2 tbsp tomato paste

1 tsp red wine vinegar

50ml extra virgin olive oil

1/2 lemon, juiced

½ tsp salt


  1. Cover the dried chillies in boiling water to rehydrate them, for 15 mins. Remove the seeds and discard.

  2. Heat a small frying pan over a medium heat and add the spices. Dry fry them for 2 minutes until toasted and fragrant, then either break them down in a pestle and mortar or transfer them to a blender and blitz to a powder.

  3. Add the rest of the ingredients, including the rehydrated chillies, to the blender and blitz all together.

  4. Keep the harissa stored in an air tight container in the fridge, with a layer of olive oil on the surface to keep it fresh. It should last up to 2 weeks.

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