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Alex Lau

This irresistibly smoky-spicy condiment lasts for a month and perks up everything from scrambled eggs to lamb chops.

Ingredients

Makes about 1½ cups

15

dried chiles de árbol

2

dried guajillo chiles

1

dried ancho chile

1

tablespoon cumin seeds

teaspoons coriander seeds

3

garlic cloves, smashed

2

tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1

tablespoon white wine vinegar

1

tablespoon tomato paste

teaspoons hot smoked Spanish paprika

1

teaspoon kosher salt

¾

cup olive oil, divided

Preparation

Step 1

Place árbol, guajillo, and ancho chiles in a large heatproof measuring glass. Pour boiling water over to submerge, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit until chiles are very pliable and cool enough to handle, 15–20 minutes. Drain; remove stems and seeds and discard (wear gloves for this part if you have them).

Step 2

Toast cumin and coriander in a dry small skillet over medium-low heat, tossing constantly, until very fragrant, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a food processor, add garlic, and pulse until spices are broken up and garlic forms a paste. Add chiles and pulse until chiles form a coarse paste. Add lemon juice, vinegar, tomato paste, paprika, and salt and process until mostly smooth but mixture still has a little texture. With the motor running, stream in ½ cup oil. Process until oil is incorporated.

Step 3

Transfer harissa to a bowl. Pour remaining ¼ cup oil over top.

Step 4

Do Ahead: Harissa can be made 1 month ahead. Cover and chill.

How would you rate Homemade Harissa?

  • Really tasty! I also deseed before soaking, and then after its well blended I push the harissa through a strainer to get rid of the bits of chile skin. It turns out velvety and smooth. Yum!

    • Cathy G.

    • San Antonio

    • 11/23/2021

  • I love this harissa recipe. I did have to do a little subbing because I couldn’t locate all of my dried peppers. I did toast a little caraway seed along with the cumin and coriander. My favorite harissa chicken recipe calls for a big scoop of the harissa, a big scoop of whole milk plain Greek yogurt, some crushed garlic and green onion chopped and a big ole’ glunk of olive oil and honey. Marinate overnight and then grill. I can’t wait! Bought the chicken thighs last night! Four star recipe for the harissa!

    • Retta Johnson

    • Birmingham AL

    • 9/4/2021

  • Delicious! Followed this recipe exactly as written except could not find hot smoked Spanish paprika so subbed a mix smoked paprikca with a 1/4 tspn of cayenne, and only 1/2 cup of oil instead of full 3/4 cup (just because!) My north African/middle-eastern husband was raving about it and we are putting it on everything! Great idea below to de-seed the peppers ahead of soaking as this was probably most time conuming part of the recipe.

    • Anonymous

    • Fort Lauderdale, FL

    • 8/30/2020

  • Lovely! I kept the amounts of everything the same, but I toasted my dry chile peppers (after seeding them) before soaking, and I used a bit of the EVOO to cook my tomato paste for a few minutes (I find that adds a nice dimension, and gets rid of any “raw” flavor that might come through).

    • Anonymous

    • North Carolina

    • 8/29/2020

  • I never would have considered making my own harissa pre-quarantine but here we are! I really wanted to make Harissa Chick Thighs but didn't have harrisa like I thought I did. This recipe was easy and the result was so delicious! I didn't have gualijos so used pasillas and didn't have anchos so used 2-3 chipotles from a can. Tastes amazing, can't wait to make my chicken!

    • Anonymous

    • Florida, USA

    • 4/5/2020

  • I love this! I’ve made it several times with a variety of peppers and it’s always delicious. Adjust the garlic/amount of spices to your taste, but it’s very good as is. The only change in directions I make, I seed the dried peppers before soaking them. It’s easier and you can save the seeds to plant in your own garden.

    • padams8

    • North Carolina

    • 1/12/2020