Harissa sauce

Harrisa Sauce Recipe


Harissa sauce is a Tunisian hot chilli sauce. This version is for the more faint hearted and has large roasted red peppers in greater quantity than the mouth exploding red chillies. I love it as it is very useful for any number of situations. I use it on fish, chicken, roasted vegetables and even on a salad with leaves and couscous. Its a really good thing to have in the fridge.

A word on “stuff in the fridge” The title “quarter master” springs to mind. By that I mean, if you want to have interesting healthy meals, they don’t just happen. Sometimes its a lot like hard work. I tend to have (on a sliding scale of freshness and availability), things like humous, baba ganoush, tahini sauce, roasted vegetables, pesto, roasted tomatoes, breads, cooked pulses, etc etc that get incorporated into salads or part of main meals or into sauces. You get my point? This all requires management. I think ahead, so if I know I have lots of mint growing, I’ll plan the ingredients for tabbouleh salad, or if I have basil, it’ll be pesto. I grant you I spend a lot of time thinking about food, but I believe planning must be involved to eat healthily, otherwise you simply throw together whatever is easiest and fills you quickest.


About 1 cup of sauce

1 large red roasted pepper skin off

1tbsp olive oil

1 small red onion chopped

1 red chilli finely chopped

3 garlic cloves crushed

1/2 tsp coriander seeds

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1/2 tsp caraway seeds

juice 1 lime/1/2 lemon

1tbsp tomato paste

salt and pepper

Dry roast the seeds until they are popping and smelling delicious, then tip into a motor and pestle or spice mill and grind until as smooth as possible.


Heat the olive oil and gently soften the onion, garlic and chillies. When all the various ingredients are ready, tip into the food processor and blitz until smooth.

Chicken cooked in harissa sauce

Chicken cooked in harissa sauce

A nice addition particularly for the chicken and fish is to add a heaped tablespoonful of greek yogurt into the sauce and mix it in well. It just makes it a bit creamier.


Harissa adorning a roasted aubergine

Fish cooked in harissa sauce

Fish cooked in harissa sauce

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  • Reply
    May 20, 2014 at 2:38 am

    At last I’ve found a decent recipe for harissa sauce. Thank you SO much Germaine. This one sure looks like the real thing complete with ALL the spices. I have a tajine that I’ve never used. I’ll get it out soon for a delectable Moroccan chicken or lamb tajine with couscous. 🙂

    • Reply
      May 28, 2014 at 11:33 am

      I look forward to hearing about your success and hopefully you’ll include some pics…

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