Should I make my own harrissa?

Where’d you get the seeds? Sounds like something I’d like to try.


I got them in a trade with other pepper growers but I think Baker Creek has them.


Thanks! I did find them there, at $.16/seed. Which seems like a lot. Not in absolute terms, but compared to other seeds.

Do you know what kind of pepper they are? Dave’s Garden says it’s an “annum”.
Not so helpful in this regard article from Saveur

Tunisian Baklouti

Shhhh! I’m whispering because I am at a meeting.
I guess I meant what species.

This is a list of Capsicum cultivars belonging to the five major species of cultivated peppers (genus Capsicum): C. annuum, C. chinense, C. baccatum, C. frutescens, and C. pubescens. …

I’m asking because it takes chinesnses a long time to germinate and ripen, so for me, it’s already a bit late. Looks like this one is annum, which is easier. Perhaps this might be a discussion in the food gardening forum.


Finally made some harissa. I made the Bon Appetit recipe, which says it can be made a month ahead, while the Food and Wine recipe says one week.

Not seeing major differences in the recipe. One has caraway, the other doesn’t, and maybe the proportion of olive oil and lemon juice. And Bon App says pour oil over top.

It’s thicker than in Presuntos pictures, which I’m guessing is Morrocan.


Is this Tunisian chile paste the new sriracha? Not yet, but it sure should be.

"Taking pride in their ample spice box and sophisticated blending of sweet and savory ingredients, Moroccans can be dismissive of harissa as a substitute for taste, even skill. While showing me how to hand-roll couscous grains some years ago, one women informed me that “Tunisians add harissa because of a lack of flavor and imagination.”

The recipe in this one says;
" MAKE AHEAD : The dried chiles for the harissa need to soak for at least 2 hours and up to 1 day. The harissa needs to cure in the refrigerator for 1 day before serving; it can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 months"
After reading it, I added caraway to mine. I did not add rose petals or water. Also says to top with oil.

I topped with oil.

Homade Tunisian Harrissa

And I bought “Laila Lalami’s The Moor’s Account, a historical fiction novel about the first slave in America, a Moroccan”.


More harrissa stories.

Everything You Need to Know About Tunisian Harissa (Chili Paste)

NPR Harissa: The Story Behind North Africa’s Favorite Hot Sauce

It mentions this recipe in Saveur based on one in A Mediterranean Feast by Clifford Wright Saveur. It has mint.

It says “Transfer to a sterilized 1-pint glass jar and fill with oil until ingredients are submerged by 1⁄2”. Refrigerate, topping off with more oil after each use. Harissa paste will keep for up to 3 weeks."


Looks gorgeous!!


so many different renditions of how long homemade harissa will keep in the refrigerator. I’ve seen 2 weeks, 1 week, 3 months, a year…in addition to this 3 weeks. And that the Tunisian homemade Hrous will keep up to a year…

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Thank you! I was looking up hrusa, and found another story.

How to Make Tunisian Harissa - and How to Use It-Four recipes


Looking up hrous

I used the Hrous recipe Paula Wolfert included in several of her cookbooks. The recipe starts with “fermenting” sliced onion with tumeric and salt at room temperature for 3 days; this adds a mysterious, funky flavor. Basically the same Wolfert recipe is in “Unforgettable: The Bold Flavors of Paula Wolfert’s Renegade Life” compiled by Emily Kaiser Thelin, and in “Onions Etc.” by Kate Winslow and Guy Ambrosino (they specify to let it cure a month before using, and that it will last a year refrigerated.) The latter book also has a harissa recipe, as do several of Wolfert’s books. I also really like the harissa recipes in " Mourad: New Moroccan: The Cookbook" by Mourad Lahlou; those however are quite complicated.


Didn’t find hrous yet, but found Paula Wolfert’s 10 Genius Tips for Preparing Moroccan Food

Spent the last hour peeling chickpeas.


Peeled more chickpeas and my harrissa peppers are ripe.


Excellent tip sheet. Thanks for linking it.

I now have exactly one ripe baklouti pepper (and about 4 green ones). All the recipes I’ve seen for harissa call for dried peppers. Any suggestions for using the bakloutis fresh?


Fresh peppers will affect how long the harissa keeps - I’d make a small amount to use fresh, unless you’re planning to freeze it.

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