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Harissa - Condiments

This spicy-hot condiment is very popular in the Maghreb, the strip of countries (including Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco) that runs along the Mediterranean Sea on the north coast of Africa. It always includes a base of hot, red chilies, but it can come in different forms: as a gritty purée of dried peppers, as a paste, and as a thinned liquid or sauce. We prefer the latter variation. There are many different types of chilies and peppers that you can use as a base for harissa, but we Find that a good, dark red powder made from chilies works best for the sauce-style harissa. You can use a top-grade chili powder or paprika (our preference is the wonderful, spicy Spanish paprika we sell called Carmencita). Saucy harissa can be used in manifold ways: stirred into black olives, stews, soups, salads, or vegetable dishes; rubbed on brochettes and grilled meats; and served at table as a sauce for couscous. Makes about 1 cup

SKU 1330-Recipe


  • 1/4 cup dark red chili powder or paprika (preferably Carmencita Spanish paprika)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly crushed


  1. In a bowl combine all ingredients except garlic until a smooth sauce is formed. Add the garlic, stir, and refrigerate for 24 hours. Remove garlic and serve. The sauce keeps, covered tightly, in the refrigerator for several months.
    Note: This sauce picks up a lovely, subtle garlic flavor from its 24-hour marination. If you wish to make a quicker sauce with garlic flavor, eliminate the 3 cloves and substitute 1/4 teaspoon very finely mashed garlic.