Homemade Harissa - Cook Republic #vegan #glutenfree


  • Author: Sneh Roy
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 200g 1x
  • Category: Basics, Pantry
  • Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten Free


adapted from a recipe in Hetty Mckinnon’s Neighbourhood cookbook.


  • 30g dried red chillies ( I used 2 guajillos, 2 chipotles, 2 cayenne )
  • 1 small red capsicum
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 12 teaspoons red chilli flakes
  • pinch of saffron (4-5 strands)
  • 4 pieces (30g) sun dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt flakes
  • 60ml olive oil


  1. Discard the stems and cut the dried chillies down the middle. Shake out the seeds and discard along with the membrane. (Wear rubber gloves if you don’t want your fingers to burn for a day) Place dried chillies in a bowl and cover with boiling water for 20 minutes to rehydrate. Drain water. Place chillies in the bowl of a food processor.
  2. Score three slits in the sides of the capsicum and place over an open fire or barbecue. Roast/grill for approximately 15-20 minutes until completely charred on the surface. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Once cool, rub the skin to peel the blackened char off. Cut the capsicum in half and discard seed, stem and membrane. Add capsicum to the food processor.
  3. Toast seeds and garlic in a pan on medium until golden and toasted. Add to the food processor along with the red chilli flakes, saffron, tomatoes, salt and olive oil.
  4. Process the harissa to a smooth paste. Scoop in a jar and top with a thin layer of olive oil. Store in the fridge for up to a month. Use liberally on pretty much everything that needs a kick. Top up the oil every time you use some of the harissa.


If you don’t have access to any dried red peppers mentioned in the post, 1-2 tablespoons of dried red chilli flakes is a good substitute. These can be found in the spice section of supermarkets.

This recipe has mild heat. The Harissa mellows after the first day or two. If you want your Harissa to be medium hot or quite hot, don’t discard the seeds and membrane of the dried chillies. Taste at every step to ensure the heat is to your liking. Remember, it will mellow a bit with time.