There are as many recipes for this spice paste as there are cooks in North Africa, but this is our favourite variation.
makes 1 cup
Sauces & Preserves
Quick & Easy
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
4 cloves garlic
1-2 hot chillies
1 tsp flaky sea salt
1/4 cup neutral oil
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup tomato purée
2 tsp rosewater, or a pinch of sugar
Toast the coriander and cumin seeds in a dry frypan until they just start to pop – watching closely so you don’t burn them.
Grind the toasted seeds with a mortar and pestle.
Chop the garlic and chillies and crush them into a paste with the salt.
Return crushed seeds to the frypan, add oil, chilli and garlic paste and cayenne pepper.
Sizzle for a few seconds then add tomato purée.
Simmer over a high heat for a couple of minutes until the mixture thickens.
Remove from heat and mix in rosewater or sugar.
Store harissa in the fridge covered with a film of oil – it will keep for a couple of weeks.