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Couscous with a bowl of harissa sauce.

Harissa is a North African hot chilli sauce commonly eaten in Morocco whose main ingredients are Piri piri chili peppers, tomatoes and Paprika. Though most closely associated with Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria,[1] it is a standard ingredient of North African cuisine.[2]

Recipes for harissa vary according to the household and region. Variations can include the addition of cumin, red peppers, garlic, coriander, and lemon juice. In Saharan regions, harissa can have a smoky flavor. Prepared harissa is also sold in tubes, jars, and cans. One finds varieties of harissa or harissa-themed spreads in almost every supermarket.[citation needed]

In Tunisia, harissa is served at virtually every meal as part of an appetizer.[citation needed] It is also used as an ingredient in a meat (goat or lamb) or fish stew with vegetables, and as a flavoring for couscous. It is also used for lablabi, a popular chickpea soup usually eaten for breakfast. In the West it is eaten with pasta, in sandwiches and on pizza. In some European countries it is popular as a breakfast spread for tartines or rolls. Harissa paste can be also used as a rub for meat[3] or aubergine.[4]


  1. ^ Malouf, Lucy (2008). Artichoke to Za'atar: Modern Middle Eastern Food. U of California P. p. 66. ISBN 9780520254138. 
  2. ^ Morse, Kitty; Laurie Smith (1998). Cooking at the kasbah: recipes from my Moroccan kitchen. Chronicle Books. p. 39. ISBN 9780811815031. 
  3. ^ Fayed, Saad. "Flank Steak with Harissa". Retrieved 2009-08-02. ]
  4. ^ "Baby Eggplant with Harissa and Mint". Ashbury's Aubergines. Retrieved 2009-08-02. [1]

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