Harissa Spice

Harissa Spice
Harissa Spice
Harissa Spice Harissa Spice
100479 001
Net Weight:
2.8 oz
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Harissa (ha-REE-sah), is also called harissa seasoning, harissa powder, or harissa spice mix.

What Is Harissa Spice

Harissa is a hot chile paste that originated in Tunisia and is a common condiment found in North African cooking, especially in Algerian, Moroccan, and Tunisian cuisine. Recipes vary among different countries and even from village to village and family to family. This chile paste is made from a variety of dried chile peppers (ranging from hot to mild) that are rehydrated then blended with olive oil, spices, and sometimes, garlic.

Harissa Spice is the ground spice blend of this earthy, spicy North African paste. It is typically used to make Harissa paste but it can also be used as a dry rub on meats or as a substitute in place of any other spice blends used to season braised meats, curries, tacos, tagines, or just about vegetarian dish.

Harissa paste can be made in many ways, create your own by mixing Harissa spice with some liquid, typically olive oil, vinegar, or citrus juice (or as combination of these). It can be made tangy and sharp by using vinegar or citrus juice as the liquid instead of olive oil; it can be a thin sauce by adding more liquid; or it can be a thicker paste when using less liquid.

The History of Harissa

Harissa is sometimes referred as "the national condiment of Tunisia" or "Tunisia's main condiment". In North Africa and parts of the Middle East it is as common as salsa or ketchup is in America. Huda Biuk, the Libyan Post culture columnist says "Libyans consider Harissa more like mustard than ketchup". Harissa is a pillar of North African and Persian cuisine, and with the rapidly evolving interest in Middle Eastern cuisine, continues to become more popular. We've also heard it referred to as Siracha's cousin. We completely disagree and believe that if it has a cousin that would be Ethiopia's Awaze Sauce made from Berbere Seasoning.

The word Harissa comes from the Arabic verb harasa, meaning ‘to pound’, ‘to crush’ or ‘break into pieces’ and was originally used to describe a porridge of pounded wheat, butter, meat, and certain spices that dates to the 600s AD.

Chile peppers are a critical component of Harissa and chile pepper seeds arrived in Morocco in 1514 and once in North Africa, quickly spread along Arab and Sephardic Jewish trade routes to countries where pungent spices were already welcomed throughout northern and eastern Africa.

Harissa is most closely associated with the Arab Maghreb region, located on the northern edge of Africa. This area includes Algeria, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia. Some food historians believe that Moorish Jews in the 1660s introduced Harissa to the Tunisian region specifically to Cape Bon (aka Cap Bon), the peninsula of northeastern Tunisia. The culturally important town of Nabeul on this peninsula is the Harissa capital of the world. Nabeul is also well known for the country’s iconic souk el felfel (summer pepper market) which began in the 1920’s.

While there are numerous recipes for Harissa paste shared at the individual level, Harissa is also commercially produced and is known as Déa Harissa, identified by the iconic yellow can or tube. Harissa aficionados call these commercially produced Harissas a "sauce" as they are non-traditional and industrially massed produced version that typically uses fresh chiles instead of dried while being watery and thin. The traditional Harissa, made in home kitchens, is a thick paste made from ground sun-dried chilis, garlic, and salt. The classic Harissa version is called Harissa Nablia, meaning from Nabeul, which adds coriander and caraway.

What Does Harissa Seasoning Taste Like

Spicy hot, smoky, with earthy undertones.

What Is Harissa Spice Good For

The most classic use of this North African staple is in Merguez au Harissa, a zesty lamb sausage with a healthy dose of Harissa paste served on a fresh roll. This spicy treat has become quite popular as a Paris street food as well.

In Tunisia, Harissa is used to flavor couscous broth, tomato sauce for pasta, seafood soups, or to season stew meat (typically fish, lamb or goat). Lablabi is the ultimate Tunisian street food made of chickpea stew served over shredded pieces of day-old bread topped with broth, egg and Harissa. Fricassee sandwiches are another street food favorite made from mashed potato, chopped boiled egg, and sometimes tuna which are stuffed inside a dough ball and deep-fried. Once cooked it is sliced open and usually topped with a spoonful of Harissa. Instead of salt and pepper, Tunisian kitchens have a dish of Harissa on the table for every meal.

In Europe it is used as a breakfast spread on rolls or tartines. It is quite common for home chefs in the west to add tomatoes (canned, rehydrated, or sun-dried) and roasted red bell peppers to further smooth out the chile flavor. With their rich flavor and mild acidity the tomatoes partner quite well with the floral undertones of the red bell peppers.

We like to use Harissa on braised meat, burgers, chicken wings, pizza, popcorn, and sandwiches and in couscous, eggs, hummus, pasta, soups, stews, tacos, tagines, and yogurt. Also provides a delightful and complex, spicy flavor when used as a rub for chicken or steak. Some of our favorite recipes using Harissa are Grilled Harissa Chicken and Harissa Couscous.


IngredientsSerrano chile, guajillo chile, Kashmiri chile, coriander, spearmint, garlic, cumin, sea salt, caraway, and cinnamon
Also CalledHarissa seasoning, harissa powder, or harissa spice mix
Recommended UsesCouscous, pasta, sandwiches, soups, and stews
Flavor ProfileSpicy hot, smoky, with earthy undertones
CuisineMiddle Eastern, North African
How To StoreAirtight container in a cool, dark place
Shelf Life6-12 months
Country of OriginUSA
Dietary PreferencesGluten Free, Non-GMO


Hungry for More Information

African Spices and Seasonings
The Culinary Regions of African Cuisine
Moroccan Spices and Dishes
How Well Do You Know Your Chiles


Nutrition Facts

Serving Size1 tsp

Amount Per Serving


% Daily Value*

Total Fat0g0%

Saturated Fat0g0%

Trans Fat0g

Polyunsaturated Fat0g

Monounsaturated Fat0g



Total Carbohydrate3.5g1%

Dietary Fiber2.0g8%

Total Sugars1.1g

Added Sugars0g0%

Sugar Alcohol0.0g


Vitamin D0mcg0%




*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice. These values were calculated and therefore are approximate. For more

4.8 out of 5
10 total ratings.

Nicolas P. (Verified buyer) 01/17/2022
great company great company! quick shipping and great spices.

William J. (Verified buyer) 09/09/2020
Good flavor Good flavor

Joseph S. (Verified buyer) 10/03/2019
pleasant heat and flavor A nice subtle flavor that ages well in leftovers and re heats

Joan R. (Verified buyer) 06/07/2019
Harissa This is one of the most complex Harissa I've found.

Khatija D. (Verified buyer) 04/03/2019
Harrisa Spice I made grilled chicken, the chicken was very flavorfull.

Paul (Verified buyer) 01/05/2018
Harissa Spice Marinated chicken breasts overnight. Baked with onions, peppers and garlic. The spice has awesome flavor. Goes perfect with eggs.

Anonymous (Verified buyer) 02/12/2013
Harissa Spice I did not find my blend to be overly salty. We use Harissa for suaces, rubs and to flavor pop corn and french fries. Serve the Harissa fries with a side of cucumber yoghurt dressing and they're heavenly!

Kevin (Verified buyer) 11/02/2012
Harissa Spice I love the heat but it's not over powering. This is a spice everyone should have....

Larisa (Verified buyer) 08/28/2012
Harissa Spice But I don�۪t want tongue-numbing heat for heat�۪s sake alone, at the expense of taste. Spices Inc�۪s Harissa is a hot but complex, nuanced blend of spices that delivers a lot of flavor. This Harissa blend works as both an ingredient (to torque up anything from tagines to minestrone) & a condiment (mixed with Greek yogurt, it makes an awesome dip.) Love it!

Scheron M. (Verified buyer) 07/16/2020
Getting Use To This Southwest flavor. This is a new spice for me. I was thinking is was close to an Indian flavor but, the blend is more of a Mexican flavor. So, it is pretty good in Chili, tacos, etc.