The Recipe for Harissa You Should Be Making Right Now

Spicy Harissa Shrimp and Grits

Spicy Harissa Shrimp and Grits

Push aside that bottle of Sriracha, and make room in your fridge for harissa. This North African elixir is my new favorite condiment. Spicy with big, bold flavors, harissa is insanely easy to make on your own. In my kitchen, I can whip up a jar of harissa in fewer than 10 minutes. The most difficult task is tracking down some of the ingredients.

The best part about harissa is its versatility. You can use it as a condiment for some grilled fish or steak. Mix with some mayo or ketchup for a zingy dip. Harissa mayo is incredible as a sauce for a burger. Toss your chopped vegetables in it before throwing them in a hot oven to roast. Brighten up your hummus by adding a tablespoon or two.  It’s particular good mixed into rice or couscous. Add some to your marinara for a spicy pasta night, or liven up your next Taco Tuesday with some roasted harissa pork tacos.

Moral of the story: make harissa.

This recipe I’ve developed gives home cooks a platform to experiment. Master the basics and then work to create the variation of harissa that suites you taste buds. Want it spicy, add some more Aleppo pepper. I often add some preserved lemon and roasted red pepper to my harissa. Another great variation is to add a tablespoon of tomato paste and some white wine vinegar. If you’ve got an onion, add a little. The variations for harissa are endless, which is why it is one of my go to recipes.

What you need:

8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

6 garlic gloves, minced

2 tablespoons ground coriander

2 tablespoons paprika

1 tablespoon ground dried Aleppo pepper (if you want it spicier, here is where you can increase the heat)

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon caraway seeds

1 teaspoon salt


What to do:

Combine all ingredients in a microwave safe jar (I use a medium size mason jar) and microwave for 45 seconds. Stir. Microwave another 45 seconds. until contents are bubbling. Let cool until safe to handle. Enjoy.