Recipe: Harissa Red Chili Hot Sauce

Make this North African condiment at home

Recipe: Harissa Red Chili Hot Sauce

Have you heard of firey-hot harissa sauce? It’s a common condiment that people use in North African countries with Tunisia credited as its originator.  You can use it with couscous or in soups and other dishes where you are looking for a unique-tasting kick.

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1 ounce dried hot red chiles
1 teaspoon caraway seed
1/2 teaspoon cumin seed
1/2 teaspoon coriander seed
1/4 cup salt (optional)
2 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil


  1. Wash the chiles and place in a small saucepan with water to cover. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and let steep covered for 1 hour. Meanwhile, using a spice mill or mortar and pestle, grind the caraway seed, cumin and coriander seeds and salt (if using).
  2. Using tongs, remove the chiles from the saucepan, wipe dry with paper towels and chop. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the chile steeping liquid. Add the chiles and garlic to the spice mill or mortar. Grind or mash everything together. Stir in 3 tablespoons of the oil and 2 tablespoons of the reserved steeping liquid.
  3. Transfer the harissa to a small serving dish for spooning sparingly into the stew at the table. Place any remaining harissa in a small glass jar. Drizzle the remaining 2 teaspoons oil over the top. Cover and refrigerate. Use within 3 months.

Source: Cleveland Clinic Healthy Heart Lifestyle Guide and Cookbook (© 2007 Broadway Books)

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