Allow me to introduce you to your new favorite hot sauce, Moroccan Harissa, made with tomatoes, preserved lemon, peppers and lots of spices.
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Moroccan hot sauce
Today I’m sharing one of the most popular condiments in Morocco, Harissa.
This traditional hot sauce is full of flavor thanks to a blend of spicy and mild peppers mixed with Moroccan preserved lemons.
You can make your own preserved lemons with only 2 simple ingredients, salt and lemons.
If you’re not able to make your own preserved lemons, you can always buy a jar online. I like this brand I found on Amazon.
This Moroccan Harissa will store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
You can also keep it in the freezer for 1-2 months, breaking off chunks to thaw and use as needed.
Spice level & picking your peppers
The fun thing about making your own Harissa versus buying a jar at the store? You have complete control over the spice level.
The heat in this Moroccan hot sauce will vary depending on the type of chili peppers you use.
The last time I made this recipe, I used a mix of peppers from my local farmer’s market so predicting the spice level was a bit of a gamble.
That said, the use of a bell pepper and tomato helps to tame whatever peppers you end up using.
Here are some common varieties of peppers (and spice levels) I’ve used in the past:
- Anchos - mild to medium
- Serranos - medium
- Poblanos - medium to hot
- Jalapenos - medium to hot
- Thai hot peppers - hot
- Ghost peppers - extremely hot
If you’re not sure what kind of chilies are best for your palette, ask the produce manager at your grocery store.
And if you’re really concerned about things being too spicy, you can always remove the seeds to tame things down a bit.
Where to use Harissa
Moroccan Harissa sauce is great wherever you use hot sauce. I especially love it with toast and a fried egg, sauteed into rice dishes and as a spicy sauce for red meat.
That said, there are some recipes where it’s just meant to be. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Moroccan Couscous - adding in a spoonful of Harissa will take the flavor and spice to a whole new level
- Kefta Lettuce Wraps - these lettuce wraps have a Harissa yogurt sauce that is unforgettable
- Chicken with lemon & olives - this popular Moroccan recipe would be fantastic with a spoon of Harissa added to the marinade
Click on the Allergen Icons above to find more allergy friendly recipes in that category.