Lebanese Harissa

Yordanka KovachevaYordanka Kovacheva
Nadia Galinova
Translated by
Nadia Galinova
Lebanese Harissa
Image: Yordanka Kovacheva
1 / 4
10 min.
10 min.
"If you are a fan of spicy dishes, we would suggest you try the Lebanese Harissa"


  • hot peppers - 7 oz (200 g) red and green
  • sweet pepper - 1 pc. (red or green bell pepper)
  • garlic - 4 cloves
  • onions - 1/4 onion (optional)
  • olive oil - 1/3 cup
  • smoked paprika - 2 pinches (or by taste)
  • lemon juice - 1/2 pc.
  • salt - 1 tsp.
  • cumin - 1 tsp.
  • coriander powder - 1 tsp.

How to cook

Harissa is a very spicy spice, usually in the form of a paste, but it can also be found in a dry version, prepared from completely dried hot peppers and without the presence of olive oil, of course.

Its origin is North Africa and according to ancient legend it bears the name of the woman who first prepared it. Harissa bought all the hot peppers from a ship off the coast of Algeria and made a paste from these peppers with coriander and olive oil.

A traveling Arab Sheikh tasted the spicy spread, liked it very much and that way Harrisa gained popularity in the Middle East and of course, Lebanon, although it is more often called a Tunisian spice.

Over the years, the ingredients have been enriched and varied according to the taste of each cook and according to the geographical area, but the main ones have always been preserved.

The varieties of peppers that you choose, I leave up to you, because everyone has a different tolerance for spicy food. Whether they will be fresh or semi-dried is also your choice, as well as whether you will clean them from the seeds or not. My advice is to do it.

There is generally no strict recipe for Harissa, it varies and changes according to the region. That's why you can adjust it to your taste.

The preparation is very easy and consists in grinding a fine or coarser paste of all the ingredients, with olive oil and lemon juice being added at the end according to what density is desired to be achieved. This also affects the taste.

I like to add some fresh coriander or parsley leaves for a fresher taste and I'm just giving it to you as an idea. In case you take advantage of it, halve the amount of coriander powder in the recipe.

The prepared spicy paste can be stored in the refrigerator by pouring a layer of olive oil on top. It is also suitable for canning and freezing.

Lebanese Harissa must stand for at least 24 hours before consumption, in order for the flavors to combine.

It is used in many dishes such as couscous, meat and fish, and why not even on a toasted slice of bread.


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