Harissa: the Moroccan red spicy sauce

I feel like somehow, every country has its own red sauce.
Bolognese, tomatillo, Siracha, ketchup, sauce cocktail, …

It appears that Moroccans have their own too: the Harissa.
It is one of these foods where everybody has their own recipe, so it is not necessarily spicy hot, and Harissa can be very different depending on the region.

You can eat Harissa just with bread (we loved it in the main square of Marrakech: Jemaa El Fna) or use it to spice your olives, stews, salades, etc.


Here is a list of the main ingredients so you can try to make your own Marrakechi Harissa too, according to your tastes:

  • Lemon confit (*)
  • a little bit of fresh garlic
  • fresh red pepper roasted and without the skin (hot if you want)
  • olive oil
  • salt and cumin

Blend all together and keep it in the fridge for up to a week.

(*) About the lemon confit: it is the main ingredient of the sauce and it is very present in Moroccan gastronomy. However, it can be pretty hard to find outside of Morocco, so here is a quick recipe as the regular one takes up to a week to be ready…

 ->   Lemon confit

Lemon confit:

  • 2 organic lemons (important since we will use the skin)
  • the juice of 1 lemon
  • 100 ml of water
  • 15 grams of salt

Cut the lemons in quarters or slices (depending on how you want to use it).
Put them in a microwave safe jar (no lid) with the lemon juice, the salt and the water. Stir and heat in the microwaves for 10 mins.
Stir again after the 2nd, the 5th and the 8th minute.
Then close the jar and let cool.
Store it in the fridge for 24 hours before using.


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