Harissa Recipe - The Super Fiery
Tunisian Spice Blend and Paste

You can buy this fiery Tunisian condiment easily nowadays, but I do recommend you try this homemade harissa recipe. And you also get to choose just how hot it is! I personally use birds eye peppers, but you can choose any you prefer. This is a dry mix which you can use as a seasoning, or combine it with oil to make a paste. (See the bottom of the page for links to more of my recipes)

What You'll Need: (makes 8-9 tablespoons)

½ cup birds eye peppers (or other hot chili pepper)
2 tbsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp coriander seeds 
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp cumin seeds
2 tsp dill seeds
2 tsp caraway seeds
2-3 tsp salt (see note 2)
3 inch piece of cinnamon
5-6 dried bay leaves

tbsp = tablespoon
tsp = teaspoon


  • Break up the cinnamon stick and crumble the bay leaves
  • Chop the peppers into pieces (if they don't fit into your grinder)
  • Add the peppers, bay and cinnamon pieces to your grinder and grind along with the salt, cumin, dill, caraway and coriander seeds
  • Once ground, sieve into a bowl
  • Finally, add the paprika and garlic powders to the bowl. Combine thoroughly

Store this harissa recipe in an airtight jar out of direct sunlight and use within 3 months. (See down page on how to make harissa paste)

Note: You could dry toast the whole peppers, coriander and cumin seeds for a few minutes before cooling and grinding. This will add fab smoky flavours and aromas to your blend. Click here to read more about this. (Link opens in new window)

Note 2: You could use any salt for this recipe, however, I do recommend using a good quality variety: sea/rock/kosher/flakes etc as these are a bit less processed and I think add better flavours to your seasonings. If however, you only have regular table salt available, it's fine to use that (as I sometimes do), you'll still get a fab tasting powder.

Ingredient Note: As well as the whole dried peppers, I also use a few other whole ingredients which I then grind. If you don't have whole it's fine to use pre-ground powders if you reduce the quantities in the recipe by half. So, for 2 tablespoons of coriander seeds you use 1 tablespoon of pre-ground coriander. Reduce any others you don't have whole by half as well and stir in with the other powders when making.

A Step-by-Step Instructional Video

Here's a video of how I made a version of the above harissa recipe. The ingredients may be very slightly different but the process is exactly the same. If you enjoyed it and have a Youtube account, you can click the SUBSCRIBE button in the bottom right corner in the video, OR click the SUBSCRIBE link below the video...

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How to Make Harissa Paste

Harissa RecipeHomemade Harissa Recipe

Now you've made the harissa recipe making the paste is super easy!

  • Add 4 tablespoons of the above recipe to your blender or food processor
  • Turn your appliance on and slowly drizzle in some olive oil until it forms a fairly thick, smooth paste
  • If necessary scrape down the sides of your processor and give another spin so it's all combined
  • Finally, add the paste to a jar and cover with a thin layer of oil and put the jar top on

Store in your refrigerator and use within a month or so.

After Making Your Homemade Tunisian Harissa Recipe You May Enjoy...

Mulled Wine Spices -
Enjoy Mulled Wine
All Year Round

Moroccan Mix -
Capture the Taste
of North African

A Collection of 
Cajun Blends For 
Louisiana Style 
Home Cooking

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