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A little condiment with big, bold flavors

Karen’s Quick Harissa Sauce / Paste

The main ingredients in this zippy and zesty Harissa are chili peppers, red bell pepper, caraway seeds, cumin and extra virgin olive oil. Can alter the spiciness… the pungent and earthy flavor of  the caraway seeds make it special.. and quite versatile!

Harissa: a little condiment with big, bold flavors.. and quite versatile!
Lebanese Marinated Chicken with Yogurt, Spices and Harissa Sauce
A quick sauce, packed with flavor and gorgeous color. Keep some in the fridge (it keeps quite well) and add to a plethora of dishes

A little condiment with big, bold flavors


1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

½ large red bell pepper, rough chop

½ teaspoon cumin seed

½ teaspoon caraway seed

2 large garlic cloves, peeled and chopped, about 1 T.

½ tablespoon dry red california chiles, seeded and torn – I used these mild ones; use dried guajillo or new mexico chiles for some more heat

1 ½ teaspoon tomato paste

1 teaspoon lemon juice

3 tablespoons filtered water

¼ teaspoon salt



In a small skillet, add the olive oil and set heat to medium. Add the next 5 ingredients – peppers through chiles. Stir and cook for 5 minutes to blend the flavors.
Add the tomato paste, and give a stir. Cover the pan and reduce the heat to low, cook 3 minutes more.
Take off the stove and add the lemon juice, water and salt.


Place all in a blender, or small food processor and puree until smooth. Add 1 T. extra olive oil if desired.


Store in the refrigerator in a clean, well sealed glass container. Add a film of oil on the top if desired.


This is a small batch of sauce, double the recipe if desired.

This recipe may not be reproduced without the consent of its author, Karen Sheer.

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