Harissa Recipe

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Cooking with Seeds: 100 Delicious Recipes for the Foods You LoveThe flavor of this tomato-based sauce is incredibly complex: It has heat, the tiniest bit of sweetness from the orange, lots of deep spice flavor, and a nice balance of acidity. Use it in place of ketchup on a burger or with fries, toss with roasted vegetables, or braise with Harissa Braised Chicken Legs. Store in an airtight container, in the refrigerator, for one month.

  • Yield: 1 ¼ cups


  • 2 plum tomatoes
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • Kosher salt
How to Make It
  1. Roast the tomatoes and bell pepper directly over two burners of a gas stove, set to high, or under a broiler, turning often, until black all over, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, cover with a piece of foil, and allow to cool completely. Once cool, discard the blackened skin of both, plus the seeds and stem of the pepper.
  2. Toast the fennel seeds, cumin seeds, and cloves in a small sauté pan over low heat until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Finely grind in a spice grinder.
  3. Place the peeled tomatoes and pepper, ground spices, garlic, orange juice, paprika, pepper flakes, vinegar, and tomato paste in a food processor. Process until almost smooth, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Season with salt.

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