harissa recipe best homemade authentic traditional red chili paste garlic cumin coriander caraway
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5 from 4 votes

Harissa (North African Chili Paste)

Use this famous North African red chili paste any time you want to add flavor, color and kick to your food!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Soaking Time20 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: condiment, Sauce
Cuisine: Moroccan, North African, Tunisian
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 39kcal
Author: Kimberly Killebrew


  • 16 dried red chilies (New Mexico and guajillo chilies work well, remove seeds, membranes and stems. If you want a really hot paste, leave the membranes)
  • 1/4 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice


  • Put the dried chiles in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let them sit for 20 minutes. Heat a small skillet over medium heat and dry roast the caraway, coriander, and cumin seeds, frequently stirring them, until very fragrant, about 4-5 minutes. Let them cool completely and then transfer them to a spice or coffee grinder (or mortar and pestle) and grind them to a fine powder.
  • Next, drain and squeeze the chiles to release as much liquid as you can. Add them to a food processor along with the ground spices, olive oil, garlic, salt, and lemon juice. Process to a smooth paste. Add more olive oil if it’s too dry. Transfer the paste to a glass jar and pour some extra olive oil on top, about 1/4 inch in depth. After each use, top it off with olive oil. Keep refrigerated. Will keep for about 3 weeks.
    Makes about 1 cup.
Serving: 1tablespoon | Calories: 39kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 77mg | Potassium: 149mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 428IU | Vitamin C: 66mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg