Harissa #2

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes

    ½ cup

Appears in

The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen

By Paula Wolfert

Published 2003

  • About

More often called harous, this harissa is the preferred sauce in Southern Tunisia for soups, couscous, salads, and meat dishes. It is far more complicated to make than the harissa above but is worth the effort as it is more complex in flavor. It will keep under olive oil for a year in the refrigerator.


  • ¼ pound juicy onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Pinch of turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons Coarse salt
  • 7 dried Nabeul peppers or a mixture of chipotle and New Mexican dried chiles
  • ½ teaspoon le tabil or ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground caraway
  • ½ teaspoon Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 good pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 1 good mixture of ground dried rosebuds, optional
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


  1. In a wide shallow bowl, mix the onions, turmeric, and salt. Let stand until soft and very wet, from 1 to 3 days.
  2. Place a handful of the onions in cheesecloth and squeeze until very dry. Repeat with the remaining onions.
  3. Stem, seed, and break up the dried chile peppers. Carefully toast them in an ungreased skillet over low heat until they give off their aroma. Remove at once to avoid burning. Grind to a powder in a blender or spice mill. Add the spices and the onions, blending well. Pack into a 1-cup dry jar, cover with oil, and tightly close. Keep refrigerated.