Preparation info
  • Makes about

    1 cup

    • Difficulty


Appears in
The Duck Cookbook

By James Peterson

Published 2003

  • About

Harissa is an irresistible paste-like sauce made with dried chiles—it’s fun to experiment with different kinds—plus cumin, coriander, and sometimes caraway. The stuff is so addictive, and makes such a perfect counterpoint to the dried fruits in a tagine, you’ll find yourself smearing it over the duck in rather shocking amounts.


  • 10 dried chiles, such as anchos, guajillos, mulatos, or chihuacle negros
  • 1 large clove garlic, peeled, chopped fine, and crushed to a paste


Cut the stems off the chiles, slice them in half lengthwise, and rinse out the seeds. Soak for 1 hour in hot water, then discard the bitter water. In a blender, combine the chiles with the garlic, ground coriander, and ground cumin. Add the ½ cup water and purée until smooth. If the mixture is too stif