If you love spicy foods, harissa paste belongs in your pantry. Harissa is a fiery yet aromatic chilli paste widely used in North African and Middle Eastern cuisine.

What is harissa?

While recipes vary, harissa usually includes hot chillies (often smoked), garlic, olive oil, cumin, coriander, caraway, mint, rose petals and tomatoes.

Where can I buy harissa?

Harissa can be found in jars, tubes and tins and, due to a recent increase in popularity, it is now available in the ethnic sections of many supermarkets.

Uses for harissa:

  1. Use harissa in soups and stews
  2. Blend it into hummus
  3. Use it as a marinade for meat and fish
  4. Add some to tomato sauce to liven up your pizza; toss through root vegetables before roasting them
  5. Mix with olive oil, mayonnaise or natural yoghurt for a quick dip.

Our favourite harissa ideas:

We love stirring a dollop of harissa into some butter and using that for cooking, stuffing chicken fillets or spreading over the skin of a roast chicken, and we are thoroughly obsessed with harissa-scrambled eggs.

However you choose to use it, just bear in mind that harissa is fiery, even for spice lovers, and a little goes a long way!