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Harissa: How and why you should make it

harissa paste recipe is a spice sauce, which came from the middle easter cuisine and it is associated with Tunisia. Each region has its own way of making the paste, some prefer the smoky flavor, while others prefer lemon flavor in the paste.

Harissa sauce has become one of the most popular Tunisian sauces in the world. You can use it with almost anything such as meat, vegetables, roasted potatoes, eggs and you can use it as a dip for bread as well. The sauce is fairly easy to make and you can customize the spiciness of the sauce the way you want.

In this article, we will show you the best harissa paste recipe.

To make harissa paste at home, you need the following ingredients.

  • 4 ounces of dried chilies
  • 1 teaspoon of coriander seeds.
  • 1 teaspoon of caraway seeds.
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt. Or you can add more according to your taste
  • 2 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.
  • 3-4 cloves of peeled garlic.

You can also use fresh lemon juice, fresh cilantro, sun-dried tomatoes, cayenne, and paprika.

You will need the following equipment to make the sauce

  • Skillet of toasting.
  • Bowl for soaking chilies.
  • Coffee grinder, or pestle for grinding spices.
  • Knife for seeding chilies.
  • Gloves for seeding and stemming chilies.
  • Food processor.
  • Airtight jar.


First, soften the chilies and place them in a heatproof bowl. Cover it boiling water and let it stand for up to 30 minutes.

While the chilies are soaking, toast the spices like cumin, caraway, and coriander in a skillet over low heat. Shake and stir the skillet occasionally to prevent it from burning. When you smell the fragrance of the spices, remove them from the pan.

Grind the spices in a coffee grinder or pestle.

Drain the chilies.

Now, remove all the stems and seeds from the chilies. Wear gloves to protect your hands from heat.

Use the food processor to combine to chilies, salt, and spices. Combine garlic, salt, ground spices in the bowl, properly.

Now run the mixture into a food processor. Slowly add olive oil in the mixture to form a smooth and thick paste. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure all the items are mixed properly. Stop the process once you have reached the desired thickness and texture of the paste.

You can taste it to check whether the seasoning is ok or not. Remember, the flavor of harissa will deepen over the days, so make sure you add seasoning accordingly.

Transfer the paste into an airtight jar and cover the surface with a thin layer of olive oil.

Now, that you know how to make harissa paste, let us understand, why you should use harissa paste in your food items:

Here is the list of 5 health benefits of using harissa paste

1. Speeds up metabolism

There is a compound called capsaicin, it is one of the most effective compounds that boost your metabolism. It is usually found in red chilies, which is one of the main ingredients of harissa. This paste when consumed gives a temporary boost to your metabolism by 8%, which means you are going to burn more calories immediately after the meal.

2. Source of vitamins and minerals

Harissa paste is filled with minerals and vitamins. The paste includes vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin b6 iron, copper, manganese, and vitamin k. All of these vitamins and minerals come from natural ingredients used to make harissa.

3. Lowers Blood Pressure

According to recent research, capsaicin relaxes your blood vessels, which helps in lowering your blood pressure. Capsaicin increases the production of nitric oxide, which protects the blood vessels against inflammation.

Since the results are not very promising, using harissa for lowering blood pressure will not cause any problem.

4. Low in calories

If followed the recipe properly, harissa paste recipe only has 46 calories per tablespoon. It contains less fat and carbohydrates and has zero sugar. This allows you to enjoy your favorite food without worrying about calorie consumption.

5. Packed with antioxidants

The recipe includes garlic, olive oil, pepper, and sometimes onions, all of these ingredients are good sources of antioxidants. Antioxidants are substances that protect the cells from radical damage.

Free radicals are produced by cells. They are like a waste, which can harm your cells and affect body functions if not removed from the body. The strain these free radicals put on cells can lead to cancer, heart diseases, strokes, and arthritis.
Harissa paste has become famous not only because of its flavor but also the health benefits it provides when consumed.

Gunjan Seth

A budding writer channelizing the forte of content writing in various domains. Currently, writing for the health domain for Medsurge India. I believe in the originality and factual information of the content. Trying to improve on the facet of business content for various industries so that people are well informed on certain topics.

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