I am a lover of all things hot and spicy. I have a datil pepper sauce recipe that I hold dear to my heart. There are no datils in Morocco, so I came up with this awesome Harissa recipe to fill my hot condiment needs.

You might not be familiar with harissa, but it’s an extremely popular condiment in the Middle East and North Africa, where it originated from. It’s difficult to describe it — harissa is more of a paste than ketchup (some is thinnner and a little chunky) and has a much more complex flavor than it or your standard hot sauce.

Depending on who prepares the harissa recipe and where it’s from, the ingredients can vary, but there are a few staples that are always included are garlic, hot chili peppers, oil and spices.

This harissa recipe also makes a great marinade for chicken (especially if you’re grilling or broiling!) and, if you add more olive oil it is a yummy alternative to butter when you’re serving bread. You can mix it with your tomato sauce for pasta or pizza sauces for some kick or spread on veggies before roasting. There’s nothing that a good harissa sauce doesn’t go well with.


5-6 dried hot peppers of choice, stems removed
¼–½ cup apple cider vinegar
2–3 tablespoons lemon juice
8 sherry tomatoes or one medium tomato
5 cloves garlic, chopped
¼ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped cilantro
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon ginger
½ tablespoon black pepper
⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup water, more if needed


  1. Soak peppers in apple cider vinegar for 30 minutes.
  2. Add all ingredients, except water, to a food processor and process on high until well combined, adding more water if needed. You can also hand chop the peppers on a cutting board for a more chunky texture. I like mine this way most of all.