Does your recipe calls for Harissa Paste and you are feeling absolutely confused wondering what on earth is "Harissa Paste"? We, I've been there. When a recipe would call for Harissa Paste, I would substitute it with sriracha or buffalo sauce, hoping it wouldn't make much of a difference.
But, today when I made Harissa Sauce and Harissa Chicken I knew instantly that no hot sauce can ever compare to Harissa Sauce. Harissa Sauce has an earthy, smokey, and spicy taste that simply cannot be replaced or substituted.
So, basically, Harissa Paste is a spicy North African red sauce that is added to various recipes. Harissa Paste can be used to make Harissa chicken or fish or any sort of meat.
Harissa Paste is also called Harissa Sauce in some places. So, basically, Harissa Sauce or Harissa Paste is nothing but a blend of dried red chilies, garlic, and various other spices.
Generally, when I need Harissa paste for any recipe, I buy it from the store. But, this time, I decided to make it at home Harissa Paste when made creates a different kind of happiness. It's like you are creating the magic behind the recipe.
What is Harissa Paste?
So, Harissa originates from Tunisia in North Africa. Generally, people use Harissa Paste as a sauce or as a dip. But, it is widely used in various Middle Eastern, North African, and Mediterranean Recipes. Harissa is a part of Tunisian cuisine since the 16th century when chili peppers were imported to Tunisia.
Most Basic Recipe of Authentic Harissa Paste?
So, before making any recipe, I love to dig down and go to the heart of the recipe. After spending two nights and three days researching about Harissa paste, let me give you a summary of basic Harissa Paste.
- Blend Dried Red Chilies, Garlic, Olive Oil, Caraway Seeds, and Sea Salt either in a mortar pestle or mixer-grinder, or food processor. That's it. Just squeeze some fresh lime juice and your Homemade Authentic Harissa paste is done.
How to Make Harissa Paste?
- Rehydrate Chilies: You can easily find these chilies in any grocery store. All you have to do is soak it in a bowl of hot water for about half-hour. And, then if you don't want it to be too spicy, you can de-seed it or else just place it in your food processor.
- Mix Chilies with Other Ingredients: Mix chilies with Tomato Paste, Garlic, Ground Caraway Seeds, Smoked Paprika, Coriander Seeds, Cumin Seeds, Kosher Salt, Olive Oil, and Lime Juice.
- Store: Pour Harissa Paste in a clean and dry Mason Jar. Store it for up to 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator or for 2-months in the freezer.
Variations of Harissa Paste?
After you've learned the basic recipe of Harissa Paste, you should know that these days people make lots of variations in the recipe. Some prefer ground cumin, some add roasted red pepper, some add tomatoes and onions. So, basically, the basic Harissa Paste recipe which is of Dried Red Chilies, Garlic, Olive Oil, and Salt never changes. The only thing people are doing is improving its taste and making it either smokier or spicier.
What to Enjoy this with?
If you are making Harissa Paste, then please leave a rating for the recipe below. Also, tag me on Instagram with #recipemagik @recipemagik so that I can see your recipe.
Other Sauces You can Try at home:
Harissa Paste Recipe | Harissa Sauce Recipe
- 10-12 Pieces Dried New Mexico Chilies
- 1 Teaspoon Caraway Seeds ground using a mortar pestle
- 2 Teaspoon Coriander Seeds
- 1 Tablespoon Cumin Seeds
- 2 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
- 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
- 7-9 Cloves Garlic
- 3 Tablespoon Lime Juice
- 1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
- ¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Soak Dried Chilies: Keep Dried chilies in a heat-proof bowl and cover it with hot water. Let it sit for 30-minutes until the chilies and soft, tender, and re-hydrated. Strain the water and remove the stems and seeds.
- Mix Chilies with other Ingredients: Combine Chilies with tomato paste, minced garlic, ground caraway seeds, smoked paprika, coriander, cumin, and some Kosher salt. Squeeze in some lime juice.
- Make Harissa Paste: Place all of this in a food processor and drizzle some olive oil in it. Run the food processor. Stop midway and scrape down the sides so that every bit of spice is well combined. Once it reaches a thick paste-like consistency, taste it and see if the seasoning is right. If not, then season it as per your taste.
- Store Harissa Paste: Store Harissa paste in a clean mason jar. Add some extra virgin olive oil on top so that it remains safe. Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 weeks or freeze for 2-months.