Harissa is a North African chilli sauce made from fresh chillis. I learnt how to make this amazing and very simple sauce whilst working at a restaurant called ‘Feast of Merit’ in Melbourne.

There are many variations, some add roasted peppers and some use only fresh chillis, this recipe falls under the latter. This sauce IS for chilli lovers, theres no two ways about it, its very spicy! I suppose its possible to make it less spicy, but then it loses its punch, and thats what this recipe is all about for me.

Because this recipe is made with PURE CHILLI (WITH THE SEEDS AND EVERYTHING!) one might assume that it’ll be TOO spicy and therefore not pleasant to eat.. but thats not how it goes down! The secret to this recipe is the LEMON JUICE. Somehow the lemon juice neutralises the intense heat of the chilli and SWEETENS IT.. this is pure wizardry my friends!

I eat this sauce in salads, paired with a more neutral oil based dressing or in sandwiches, again I would pair it with something more neutral and less spicy, like a hummus or mayo.

I’m excited to see if you guys will love this recipe as much as I do! here it is.

Harissa recipe

80g fresh red chillis (seeds removed ) *
80g fresh chillis (with seeds)
100g lemon juice
20g fresh garlic *
40g extra virgin olive oil
10g sugar
8g salt

Blend all of the ingredients in a blender or in a food processor. You can eat it right away but its usually nicer after 24 hours.


* I like to remove the green root of the garlic as sometimes it gives an overwhelming pungent taste when its used raw.

* I recommend using long red chillis, not small red birds-eye chillis as they are way too spicy.