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Harissa Paste in a Jar

How To Make Harissa Paste

Basic Harissa Paste Ingredients include Red pepper, which is an essential part of almost every hot sauce, garlic, Olive oil and salt. And  secondary ingredients vary according to the taste and preferences of the regions.  In some regions they like to add roses to Harissa, which makes it easy to balance the kick of the heat  and give your palate a tantalizing taste
Cuisine Mediterranean


  • 20 gm  Dried Ancho Chilies
  • 30 gm Dried Guajillo Chilies
  • 12 gm Dried Kashmiri Red Chilies
  • 3 gm Arbol Chilies
  • 3 tsp Coriander
  • 1 1/2 tsp Caraway
  • 8 Cloves Garlic
  • 45 ml Olive Oil Extra Virgin
  • 30 ml Distilled White Vinegar
  • 1 1/5 gm Salt


  • As safety, put on disposable latex gloves before you start working with chillies. Using kitchen shears, cut off the steam off the ancho and Kashmiri chilies and split the chilies in between to remove the seeds. And set aside the split chilies on a baking tray once done
    Man Chopping Chilies
  • Oven- Roasting: If you plan on roasting your chilies in the oven, first preheat the oven at 175 C for 15 min. And line up your Ancho, Guajillo, Kashmiri and Arbol chilies on a roasted pan and leave space in between so the heat can flow and provide an even roasting. Once lined up roast them in the oven for 5 to 6 min just until fragrant and puffed. With the number of chilies you might need to do this process in batches
  • Pan-Roasting: I find Pan roasting the chilies to be more effective as you can control the whole process, but the only downside is the strong pungent smell of roasted pepper that will be left after you're done with the whole process. Take either a skillet or a Cast iron pan and heat it at medium high heat, and once the pan is hot enough roast the chilies in very small batches on the pan (avoid overcrowding) on each side and turn until the chilies are fragrant and puff. This process will take approximately 30 seconds to a minute in total, so make sure you do not over toast the chilies and burn them in the process
  • Once the chilies are roasted, place all the roasted chilies in a large mixing bowl and top them up with boiling water and  soak them for around 25 to 30 minutes. When soaking make sure the chilies are covered in the water to hydrate them properly
  • While the chilies are being soaked, heat a skillet or cast iron pan on medium heat and add in Coriander and Caraway seeds and roast them gently till they are fragrant for 1 to 2 min. While being roasted gently move the pan constantly to make sure to have an even roast and avoid burning the spices. Once the spices are roasted set them aside for a few min till they cool down
  • Add in the coriander and caraway seeds in a spice grinder working in batches, blend it to a fine powder, and set it aside
  • Once the chilies are hydrated, drain them and reserve 2 cups of water from it. In a blender add in all the chilies, grounded spices and garlic with the oil and 1 cup of reserved water into it with salt. Then blend till it's a fine puree. If required you can add in more water but make sure it's not runny
  • In the last step to make the harissa paste, in a saucepan add in the harissa paste and add 1 cup reserved water to the sauté pan and simmer until the paste is thick, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Finish the harissa paste by mixing in the olive oil and  vinegar
  • Place the harissa paste in a seal-able jar and drizzle olive oil over top to preserve. And let the flavors melt into each other for at least a day before using it. The Harissa will last 1 month in the fridge
    Harissa Paste in a Jar