Homemade Harissa Paste

For those who like a little extra spice, this exotic African inspired homemade Harissa paste will be sure to put fire in your belly. A perfect addition to any fish or lamb dish, you will always be wanting a jar of this aromatic paste ready in your fridge. A great way to add flavour to your meals without adding salt, harissa is naturally gluten and dairy free.

SERVES: PREP TIME: 5 mins COOK TIME: 70 mins


  • 1 kilogram red chillies –1 large dried ancho chilli, 2 dried chipotle chillies and the remainder of fresh red chillies (choose a variety that will provide a heat to your taste)
  • 3 spring onion stalks, finely diced
  • 3 tablespoons turmeric powder
  • 3 tablespoons cumin powder
  • 3 tablespoons fresh coriander or powder
  • Extra virgin olive oil


  1. Take the fresh chillies and slice in half and remove the seeds to your desired level of heat (HOT tip: The more seeds left in, the spicier the Harissa will be). When cutting fresh chillies it is great if you use some disposable gloves to avoid the heat on your fingers.
  2. Chop the dried chillies into fine pieces.
  3. In a large frying pan, heat olive oil on a medium heat and fry the spring onions and chillies.
  4. Cook for approximately 20 minutes or until chillies start to brown - the more charred the chillies, the darker your end result will be.
  5. Once brown, drop to a low heat and cook until all chillies are soft. This may take approximately 40 minutes.
  6. In a separate bowl, combine all spices. Then add one third of the spice mixture to the frying pan. If the mixture gets too dry add additional extra virgin olive oil and cook for 2 minutes.
  7. Add another third of the spice mixture, adding oil if required. Be sure to keep the texture paste-like and not too runny and cook for another 2 minutes.
  8. Finally add the last of the mixture to the frying pan, once again adding more oil if needed, and cook for a further 2 minutes before leaving to cool.
  9. Transfer mixture into a food processor or blender and blend to desired paste consistency.
  10. Divide the Harissa into small portions and store in airtight containers in your freezer. Defrost as needed.


  • Lightly marinate a butterflied chicken with Harissa and pop in the oven under fan grill for 45 minutes.
  • Always add Harissa to taste. Remember some may find this recipe too HOT to handle!!

Dietary Requirements

Gluten Free  |  Dairy Free  |  Sugar Free  |  Yeast Free  |  Soy Free  |  Egg Free  |  Nut Free  |  Vegetarian

Filed under

Gluten freeDairy free

  • By Lee Green

  • Photography: Lee Green