Harissa is a traditional chilli sauce found across North Africa. It’s also a perennial favourite for trendy menu bingo, holding its own against relative newcomers like kale, burrata and lardo di colonnata. At this stage, with recipes from Jamie Oliver and jars of the stuff in Tesco, it’s practically mainstream. This recipe comes from Morito, where they serve harissa with freshly made bread. This stuff is an entirely different animal from the fiery paste you get in the beautiful Le Phare du Cap Bon tins. It’s actually really mild, perfect for chili amateurs just dipping their toe in the water. You can use this as a sauce with grilled meat, fish, or vegetables, or as a dressing for salads. I’ve used this to dress pearl barley, roasted vegetables, feta and dill to make a packed lunch salad. It keeps well, and would make a perfect handmade Christmas present for any fans of spicy food.

Makes a 400g jar

  • Ingredients
  • 250g red chillies, halved and deseeded
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 100g roasted peppers
  • 2 tablespoons ground and toasted caraway seeds
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons toasted and ground cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tablespoon toasted and ground black cumin
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey (optional)


  • Blend all of the ingredients together with a stick blender or in a food processor. Season to taste.
  • You can store this in a jar in the fridge for a couple of weeks.

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