A whole lot of spice…
Tunisian harissa paste can be very unassuming. It may look mild mannered for a chili paste, but inside is a world of exotic flavors, from coriander and caraway to cumin and mint. It’s a chili paste that’s wide open for experimentation, too, and you’ll see that played out in stores and restaurants. Harissa recipes will differ based on the ingredients chosen and the chilies used.
Of course, experimenting with chilies is what gets us the most excited, and we leave the door wide open in this homemade harissa recipe. You can opt for mild and smoky and choose ancho peppers as a chili base or go for hot, hot, hot and pick up dried Thai chilies. In-between are so many options, but we provide you with our four favorites below.
Tempted? See the recipe being made:
- Rehydrate your dried chilies (see instructions here), then remove stems and seeds.
- Place the chilies garlic, caraway, coriander, cumin, mint, cilantro, and salt in a food processor.
- Pulse blend the mix while slowly adding olive oil to reach your preferred consistency. Add additional ingredients as needed to taste.
- Serve immediately with a drizzle of olive oil on top or, for the best flavor chill the harissa overnight. Place the harissa in a sealable jar topped with a light coating (1/2 teaspoon) of olive oil.
Experiment with the dried chilies used in this homemade harissa paste to change the overall flavor. Here are our favorites, based on heat and flavor profile: