What is Harissa?

What is Harissa?


What is Harissa?  Here's your Guide to this Spicy Tunisian Condiment!

Harissa is a fiery red chili paste that originated in Tunisia and has since become popular in Middle Eastern and North African cuisines. Made from hot chili peppers, garlic and spices like caraway and coriander, harissa is known for its bold and complex flavor profile.  It adds depth and heat to a variety of dishes. 
Flavor Profile and Variations

Harissa is characterized by its intense heat, smoky undertones, and hints of garlic. The heat level can vary depending on the type of chili peppers used, with some variations being milder and others packing a fiery punch. Some harissa recipes use rose petals (rose harissa) for an added layer of floral notes.

Harissa Paste vs. Harissa Powder

Harissa is commonly sold in two forms: paste and powder. The paste is a wet mixture that incorporates moisture from the fresh peppers, herbs and spices, and olive oil, while the powder is a dried spice blend. Both forms can be used to add flavor and heat to dishes, but the paste is more commonly used for its versatility in cooking.

Culinary Uses of Harissa

Harissa is such a versatile condiment that it can be used as a marinade for meats, added to soups or stews for some flavor-packed heat, or used as a spread or topping for dishes like scrambled eggs, shakshuka, avocado toast, roasted vegetables, and grilled meats. Whether bought from a store or made at home, harissa is a must-have condiment for those looking to spice up their culinary creations with a taste of North Africa, and adventurous cooks looking to add a spicy twist to their meals.
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