Harissa | Component Cooking

5 from 3 reviews

A slightly spicy version of the classic North African paste using roasted red peppers and chipotles. Yields about 1 cup, depending on pepper size.


  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds (see note)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 clove garlic (see note)
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper
  • 1 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (see note)
  • 2 tablespoons adobo sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro (optional)


  1. Heat a small, dry skillet over medium-low heat. Add the whole cumin and coriander. Toast, shaking the pan often, until the spices are fragrant. Transfer to a spice grinder or mortar/pestle. Process until ground.
    Place garlic in a food processor or blender and pulse a few times. Add the remaining ingredients, along with with the ground spices, and pulse until well combined and mostly smooth. 
    Alternatively, using a mortar and pestle, smash garlic into a paste. Add the peppers and continue to process. Add the ground spices and remaining ingredients, stirring until well combine. 


Tips & Tricks: ground spices can be used in place of the whole spices. Substitute 1:1.

I like to use roasted garlic if I have it on hand.

Substitute dried or fresh chiles for the chipotles in adobo. Play around with the combination of chiles to find a heat level and taste you like.

The cilantro is non-traditional but I've always used it. Leave it out if desired.

Stock up: get the pantry ingredients you will need: peppers, spices, garlic

Nutrition: see the information.