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 pepper)
2 tbsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp coriander seeds 
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp cumin seeds
2 tsp dill seeds
2-3 tsp sea/rock/kosher salt
3 inch piece of cinnamon
5-6 dried bay leaves

tbsp = tablespoon
tsp = teaspoon


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

Store this harissa in an airtight jar out of direct sunlight and use within 3 months.

Note: You could dry toast the whole ingredients for a few minutes before cooling and grinding. This add even more flavours and aromas to your blend. Click here to read more about this. (Link opens in new window)

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.

Here's a short slideshow of how I made this. The ingredients are slightly different in the video but the process is the same...

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.

After Making Your 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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