Tunisian Love of a Spicy condiment

Harissa is a fiery red condiment that originated in Tunisia and is now popular all over the Maghreb and the Middle East. Made from hot chili peppers, garlic, olive oil, and a few other spices, harissa adds heat and depth to any dish.

In Tunisia, harissa is a staple ingredient in many dishes, and it is often used as a marinade or sauce for meats, fish, and vegetables.

Tunisian harissa is unique in that it is made with a specific type of chili pepper called the baklouti. This pepper is small and round, with a bright green color when it is young and a bright red color when it is fully mature. Baklouti peppers are very hot, with a Scoville rating of 50,000 to 100,000, making Tunisian harissa one of the spiciest versions of the condiment.

To make Tunisian harissa, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 10-15 dried baklouti peppers
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Soak the dried peppers in hot water for about 30 minutes, until they are soft.
  2. Drain the peppers and remove the stems and seeds.
  3. In a mortar and pestle or a food processor, grind the garlic and salt together until they form a paste.
  4. Add the peppers, cumin, and coriander seeds to the garlic paste, and grind until everything is well combined and finely ground.
  5. Gradually add the olive oil to the mixture, stirring or pulsing until it forms a thick, smooth paste.
  6. Taste the harissa and adjust the seasoning as needed.

Tunisian harissa can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a month, and it can also be frozen for longer storage. To use harissa, simply spoon it onto your favorite dishes, or use it as a marinade for chicken, fish, or vegetables. It can also be mixed into dips or sauces to add heat and flavor.

Whether you’re a spice lover or just looking to add some excitement to your meals, Tunisian harissa is a versatile and delicious condiment that is sure to please. Try making your own batch today and see how it transforms your cooking!