Harissa is a Tunisian spice sauce that is almost a catch-all for a lot of their dishes. As with all catch-all spices, there are variations to the basic theme, some like it very spicy so they add more cayenne pepper, others mint, and yet others both cilantro and mint.

Harissa [Vegan]



  • 1/4 cup dried red cayenne peppers
  • 20 mild red chilis such as the Byadgi or Ancho Chilies (also dried)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint (optional)


  1. Soak the chilies with 1/2 cup warm water for 15 minutes. Drain and reserve the water.
  2. In the meantime, toast the cumin and coriander seeds. Grind to a powder in a coffee grinder.
  3. Place the chilies, ground spices, garlic, salt and olive oil with a little water in a blender and grind to a paste.
  4. Add in the chopped cilantro and the mint and pulse a few times. Use some more water if needed.
  5. Store the mixture in the refrigerator and use as needed.

Nutritional Information

Total Calories: 531 | Total Carbs: 21 g | Total Fat: 49 g | Total Protein: 7 g | Total Sodium: 2188 g | Total Sugar: 3 g Note: The information shown is based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.