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Recipe Detail


By Lynn Grieger, RD, CDE, CPT for Summit Medical Group

Harissa is a spicy condiment popular in North Africa and the Middle East. Use it instead of ketchup or mustard on sandwiches, to marinate chicken or fish, or mix into hummus for a spicy taste. Capsaicin, the component that provides the hot flavor in hot peppers, may help reduce appetite, slightly increase metabolism, and improve cardiovascular health.


  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1 1/2 Tbl olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped red onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 4 oz dried chilies of your choice – experiment with different varieties based on your ‘heat’ preference
  • 1 1/2 tsp tomato paste
  • 2 Tbl lemon juice
  • ½ tsp dried mint
  • ½ tsp salt


  1. Place the chilies in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Let stand for 30 minutes then drain.
  2. Remove the stems and seeds.
  3. Toast the coriander, cumin, and caraway seeds in a hot skillet for 2 minutes until golden. Grind to a powder in a clean coffee grinder, or use a mortar and pestle.
  4. Heat the olive oil in the same skillet over medium heat, and cook the onion, garlic, and red bell pepper for 10 to 12 minutes, until a dark smoky color and almost caramelized.
  5. Use a blender or a food processor to blend all of the ingredients until smooth, adding a little more oil if needed.
  6. Store in a sterilized jar in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
Nutritional information
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 tbsp
Amount Per Serving
Calories 46
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 2g
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Trans Fat 1g
Cholesterol 0g 0%
Sodium 102g 4%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 1g
Protein 1g
Vitamin A 45%
Vitamin C 22%
Iron 6%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.