Homemade Harissa

A fiery pepper paste that will surely enhance your dishes – it is spicy, smoky and way better than the store bought ones. 

Homemade Harissa 3

So I was once told by an ex-colleague that I cannot make my own harissa. Well, to my ex-colleague: guess what? I have made my own harissa!👊🏻😜

This is one of the things I’ve always wanted to make. Although it may sound very easy, I was still intimidated by the thought of homemade harissa. I got very good comments on the harissa-tahini sauce when I shared the recipe of Potato Hash With Harissa-Tahini Sauce, so I was inspired! Since this is my first homemade harissa, I started with the basic – only having lemon and garlic as the flavor enhancers. Next time, I will explore and add star anise and caraway like what Kellie did and also experiment on other dried chilies like what Elaine did. Truly, they inspired me both to finally make harissa.

Homemade Harissa 2

The harissa was insanely good – the smell, the taste, the color – everything!! I used the red chilies I have dried and used ancho chilies coz they were the only ones I had… but the result was fantastic that I was running around holding my blender to show off my first homemade harissa. After having that crazy comment that I couldn’t make my own harissa, why wouldn’t I show off? 😀 The harissa I am using from the store is also very good and very convenient, but making your own harissa is even better coz you know what’s in it, right? So why don’t you start making your own now? 😀 It is good for soups, with hummus, tahini and so much more!

Homemade Harissa 1

I am sharing this with my friends at Fiesta Friday at this week’s amazing Fiesta Friday # 174. I hope you will love this one.

Homemade Harissa


  • 2 dried ancho chilies
  • 2 dried red chiies
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 300g total of whole red bell peppers
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil


  1. In a bowl, add ancho chilies and red chilies. Add boiling water and cover. Leave for 30 minutes, until soften).
  2. While waiting for the dried chilies to soften, let’s roast the red bell peppers: Wash and dry your whole red bell peppers. Roast them until charred. (I roasted my bell peppers on the stove top, turning them frequently until charred and soft.) Click here to see ways on how to roast bell peppers. When the bell peppers are charred and soft, place them in a bowl and cover. Leave for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, place them on your work surface and peel those peppers away. Also, remove the tops and the seeds. Place in a blender (or food processor) and set aside.
  3. Going back to the dried chilies: When they are soft, take them out from the water and remove the seeds and cut off the top. Reserve chili water just in case you need them later on. When all seed and tops are removed, place them in a blender along with the roasted and peeled red bell peppers, garlic, lemon juice and 1 tbsp olive oil.
  4. Keep the blender running until you get the desired consistency. You can add from the reserved chili water, if necessary and/or add another tbsp of olive oil and lemon juice. Add salt to taste.
  5. Keep inside the fridge in a sterilized jar.


This recipe makes about 1 1/4 cups of harissa.

This lasted for 2 weeks inside my fridge.

Source recipe: Homemade Harissa by Half Baked Harvest


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39 thoughts on “Homemade Harissa

  1. I use a lot of harissa (loads of harissa recipes on my blog if you need some inspo as to what to do with all that lovely harissa!!) and really need to start making my own as, I am sure as you say, homemade will taste much nicer and I am much happier when I know exactly what I am eating (no funny unpronouncable chemical gubbins!) – it is such an amazingly delicious condiment as once you have it, you can make super delicious food quickly and easily! Thank you for sharing your lovely recipe with #CookBlogShare! 😀 Eb

    1. I especially made this to share a post of my new favorite sauce – Harissa-Tahini Sauce. I could use the store-bought harissa, of course, but I feel that I need to use homemade harissa when I share that lovely sauce. If you love harissa, I bet you’ll love it, too. Here is the link to the recipe if you’d like to check it out: https://thenotsocreativecook.wordpress.com/2017/06/09/harissa-tahini-sauce/

      Thanks a lot, Eb. Your comment means a lot & I will make sure to check you recipes using harissa as I need more recipes. 😀 Have a great week!

  2. Well done for making your own harissa! There’s nothing like someone tell you you can’t do something to make you want to prove them wrong. Thank you so much for sharing with #CookOnceEatTwice.

    1. Thanks, Corina. The ex-colleague must have been surprised if she knew about this. It’s always a pleasure joining #CookOnceEatTwice

    1. I took the ‘basic’ harissa first before I proceed with adding cumin, caraway and other spices. 🙂 Thanks, Chef Mimi!

    1. Yes, this does not include cumin. I took the, let’s say the ‘basic’ one first. I am not a huge fan of cumin, so I don’t want to dislike the harissa at first jar.😂 I wanted to taste the homemade harissa without the cumin, then I can move on to the next level. The next jar of harissa would be with cumin, I am sure.😉

  3. I would love to try this as I use harissa a lot in my cooking but not sure if I am going to find ancho chillis here. Going to start looking.

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