Ingredient Spotlight: Harissa

How to Use Harissa

One of Bellevue Club’s new menu items (the Harissa-Roasted Cauliflower) features Harissa, a spicy Tunisian condiment that combines hot chili peppers with garlic, a variety of spices—such as cumin caraway or coriander—olive oil and vinegar. Here’s a brief guide to what it is and how to use it:

Harissa History

The spicy condiment has been used for centuries in North Africa and is consumed almost daily, similar to how we view ketchup or mustard. From stews, to fish, to hummus and veggies, it’s a staple to a variety of simple dishes.

Harissa Health Benefits

The heat: Chiles contain capsaicin, the natural chemical that gives them their heat. Aside from good flavor, capsaicin improves heart health, lowers blood pressure, aids in digestion, boosts metabolism and improves immunity.

The spices: The coriander, caraway and cumin spices involved in traditional harrisa provide a complex flavor profile, but so much more. This family of spices is known to reduce inflammation and aid in digestion. They are heavily revered for their medicinal qualities.

At-Home Harissa Paste

Cook Time: 30 Minutes


  • 12 Chiles de arbol
  • 5 dried chilies of your choice
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt


  1. First you need to rehydrate the chiles. In a glass bowl, pour boiling water over the dehydrated chiles and let it sit, around 15-20 minutes. Once cooled, drain, and remove stems and seeds.
  2. In a food processor, combine the cumin, coriander and caraway seeds with the garlic. Add the rehydrated chiles and process.
  3. Add the lemon juice, vinegar, tomato paste, paprika and salt and mix until a paste has formed. Finally add the oil slowly until desired consistency.

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