Tunisian Hot Pepper Condiment

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes about

    1 cup

Appears in

Harissa is a hot pepper sauce that can be made with fresh, roasted, or dried peppers. You may purchase it in paste form in small jars or tubes, but it is easy to make. To serve it as a sauce, thin it with olive oil and a little lemon juice. This recipe was given to me by Baroui Karoui, a visiting Tunisian chef who cooked with me at Square One restaurant during a Mediterranean food conference sponsored by the American Institute of Wine and Food.


  • 4 large red bell peppers or pimientos, seeded, deribbed, and cut into pieces
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds, toasted and ground
  • 1 ½ to 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • extra-virgin olive oil as needed


In a meat grinder, food processor, or blender, grind or puree the bell peppers or pimientos. Strain, pressing on the solids with the back of a large spoon. You should have about ¾ cup puree. Stir in the garlic, spices, and salt. Add oil for spoonability.

In this section