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 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.
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.
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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Libyan Harissa Paste
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- Let this cook on slow for 30-40 minutes.
- 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
- 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.
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