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April 19, 2022

The heat of harissa depends on the type of chilis used. If you prefer a milder heat, you can use a combination of guajillo chilis and ancho chilis. For more heat, add 2 or 3 de arbol chilis. Some cooks like to add lemon juice, tomato paste, or smoked paprika. To make rose harissa, simply add 1 or 2 teaspoons rosewater or 1 tablespoon fresh or dried rose petals to the basic recipe. The sweet floral notes of rose nicely balances the heat of the chilis.

Featured in: Red Hot Chili Peppers


  • 2ounces dried New Mexico or guajillo red chilis
  • 6-8garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 3tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1teaspoon ground caraway seeds
  • ½teaspoon salt


  • Step 1

    Soak chilis in warm water for 30 minutes or until soft, then drain, reserving some of the soaking liquid. Roughly chop, then place in a blender or food processor with the garlic, olive oil, ground coriander, ground caraways seeds, and salt and process to a thick paste, adding a little of the reserved soaking liquid, if necessary.

  • Step 2

    Spoon into a sterilized jar and pour a generous layer of extra virgin olive on top. This will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Or you can divide the harissa into 1 or 2 tablespoonfuls and freeze it.