Harissa, from the Arabic word lhares (“to crush”), is a spicy red chile paste from North Africa. This Tunisian version from Les Moulins Mahjoub is a coarse, thick blend of sun-dried chiles and tomatoes, garlic, coriander, caraway seeds and extra virgin olive oil. It is rich and earthy, almost smoky, with heat that surprises you—pow!—at the end of a bite.
In Tunisia, harissa is ubiquitous. It makes an appearance at nearly every meal, whether used in the base for a stew, stirred into couscous, rubbed on meats or set out as a condiment. The warm flavors of Les Moulins Mahjoub Harissa would be especially good with hearty fall and winter fare, but there are dozens of ways to use this tasty paste.
For a Moroccan take on Harissa, try Mustapha’s Mediterranean Harissa.