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Libyan Harissa Paste

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Libyan Harissa Paste is a spicy versatile chilly paste seasoned with cumin seeds, coriander, and garlic. The paste can be added as a marinade to your meat or veggies or used as dips.

Harrisa Paste in a glass jar. Seen in the background are some red chilly and onion

Harrisa is one of the favorite dips from North Africa. Harrisa simply means paste and this Libyan harrisa paste is a spicy chilly paste. 

Ways to enjoy Harissa Paste

I have made a similar dip earlier for my Manakish Za’atar (Levatine Flatbread) but have used roasted red pepper for that. Would love to use this Harrisa paste stuffed in bread to make a savory babka similar to my Savoury Babka with Sun-dried Tomato, Feta, and Coriander Chutney.

Would love to add this harrisa paste to some delicious Baked falafel wraps for the Vegetarian mezze platter. As said earlier, one can use it as a marinade on meat and grills.

Harrisa Paste in a glass jar. Seen in the background are some red chilly and onion

Today’s recipe for Libyan Harrisa Paste

As with every recipe, this too differs slightly from region to region. Today’s recipe of Harrisa paste is simply made of red chilies, tomato paste, cumin seeds, coriander, garlic, and some red carrot puree. I followed the recipe from here. However, I did not add caraway seeds. I was not going to add carrot puree too but added it at the last moment.

Type of chilly used

I did use a combination of chilly here as I wanted the sauce hot. Also, I have not used the red peppers, but used long spicy red chilly and some hot small red chilies. One can use any red chilies or peppers.

Harrisa Paste in a glass jar. Seen in the background are some red chilly and onion

Chop or puree

I have chopped the chilies as I wanted a chunkier texture. One can process it in the food processor or make a puree and then use it. Carrot I believe is added to add some sweetness as well as increase the quantity. I added it in very less quantities as I did not want it milder. 

Today I am sharing this recipe as Amy from Amy’s Cooking Adventure asked us to make some Libyan food. I was very excited to make this and made it just a day before, as sourcing red chilies was a task for me.

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Harrisa Paste in a glass jar. Seen in the background are some red chilly and onion
Harrisa Paste in a glass jar. Seen in the background are some red chilly and onion

Libyan Harissa Paste

Libyan Harissa Paste is a spicy versatile chilly paste seasoned with cumin seeds, coriander, and garlic and is perfect as a dip or a marinade.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Condiments
Cuisine: Libyan
Keyword: Condiments, Vegan
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 150 grams Glass Jar
Author: Renu Agrawal-Dongre

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Red chillies
  • 1/2 tablespoon of Roasted Coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of Cumin seeds
  • 3-4 garlic cloves small size
  • 1 tablespoon Tomato puree
  • 1 small carrot boiled and mashed
  • Salt to taste
  • 4-6 tablespoon water – I added as mine was sticking at the bottom
  • 2-3 tbsp Olive oil for preserving

Instructions

  • Rinse and wipe the red chillies.
    1 Cup Red chillies
  • Remove the top ends.
  • If you want it less spicy, de-seed and use it.
  • Either chop the chillies finely using knife or a food processor. Or simply puree or mince it as required.
    Red chilies for Harrisa Paste
  • In a heavy bottom pot add all the ingredients except carrot and water.
    1/2 tablespoon of Roasted Coriander seeds, 1 teaspoon of Cumin seeds, 1 tablespoon Tomato puree, Salt to taste, 3-4 garlic cloves small size
    Ingredients for Harrisa Paste
  • Let this cook on slow for 30-40 minutes.
    Ready Harissa Paste
  • As I did not use peppers, it did not release much water, hence I had to add some water.
    4-6 tablespoon water
  • Add water only if it sticks to the bottom.
  • Once done, add the mashed carrot and mix everything.
    1 small carrot boiled and mashed
    Carrot added to the chilly mixture
  • Switch off and let it cool completely.
  • Fill it in a clean and sterlize glass jar.
  • Top it up with 2-3 tablespoon of Olive oil.
    2-3 tbsp Olive oil for preserving
  • Oil here act as a preservative.

Notes

Standard US Size cups and spoon used.
Tried this recipe?Share your feedback @cookwithrenu_ad or tag #cookwithrenu_ad
Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist. The nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. It varies depending upon the product types or brands.

Sharing this with

  • Ejja – Libyan Frittata from Mayuri’s Jikoni
  • Libyan Harissa Paste from Cook with Renu
  • Libyan Lamb Stew with White Beans and Spinach from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
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  • Maghreb Chicken and Vegetable Stew from Palatable Pastime
  • Mbakbaka (Spicy Libyan Pasta) from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
  • Libyan Cheese Dip from A Day in the Life on the Farm
  • Pilpelchuma – Libyan Chili Paste from Food Lust People Love
  • Sharba Libiya – Libyan Mint and Lamb Soup from Pandemonium Noshery
  • Tajin Sfinari bil Zaytun/ Libyan Lamb Casserole with Carrots and Green Olives from Sneha’s Recipe
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    Recipe Rating




    Mayuri Patel

    Thursday 14th of July 2022

    Can imagine how this Libyan Harissa paste would go so well with my sandwiches or even Ejja, Libyan Omelet. Hope will find some fresh red chillis at the Farmers' Market this Sunday to try out this mouthwatering condiment.

    Sue Lau

    Sunday 10th of July 2022

    I have had chilli paste on falafel sandwiches before and it really adds to the flavor.

    Karen @karenskitchenstories

    Sunday 10th of July 2022

    What a great condiment! I love anything chile!

    Amy's Cooking Adventures

    Sunday 10th of July 2022

    What a great ingredient to have on hand! I bet this could be used in so many different ways!

    Wendy Klik

    Sunday 10th of July 2022

    That might be a little to spicy for my husbands palate but it sounds right up the Teen's alley.