Harissa - Gourmet Guide

June 12, 2019 | By Dave Mattingly

Harissa is a fiery blend of chilies and spices, in the form of a thick paste. Harissa is native to the northern African countries of Morocco, Algeria, Libya and Tunisia. The history of Harissa is linked closely to that of the red pepper, which was introduced to Europe and North Africa in the 1400s. Harissa is a staple food often eaten with every meal in Morocco and its neighboring countries.

Harissa is usually made with ingredients such as chilies, garlic, vinegar, salt, and olive oil, though the recipe for Harissa varies based on the region of production. While the base of Harissa is hot chili peppers, additional ingredients may include coriander, caraway, paprika, lemon juice or cumin. The type of pepper used will determine the heat of the chili paste.

Harissa is traditionally eaten alongside couscous, but also adds a bright vibrant flavor to sauces, dressings, marinades and soup. Harissa adds a flavorful kick to sandwiches, roasted vegetables, rice or noodles. Delicious when spread on lamb, or mixed into the sauce of a braise, Harissa is also a perfect sauce to spoon over eggs or potatoes.

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