Go Back
+ servings


Adapted from the New York Times.
Servings 1 cup
Author Brandon Matzek


  • 5 medium dried red chili peppers, stems removed*
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • cup tomato paste


  • Soak chili peppers in vinegar for at 30 – 45 minutes (until soft). Add chilies, vinegar, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic and olive into a food processor and process until smooth.
  • In a small frying pan, lightly toast coriander and fennel seeds (no need to add oil). Grind up spices with a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. Add ground coriander and fennel seeds to the food processor with pepper, allspice, nutmeg, salt and tomato paste. Process until smooth (drizzle in extra olive oil if the mixture seems too thick).


* I used a mixture of 3 california chili peppers and 2 guajillo chili peppers and my Harissa turned out spicy and flavorful (but not 5 alarm)! Feel free to experiment with different types of dried chili peppers. Dried chipotle peppers will give your Harissa a smokier flavor.