Next up in our BABA glossary series is the North African sauce, harissa. Often compared to Sriracha, harissa is fiery, fragrant and can be used in marinades, dressing or simply as a topping. As well as finding harissa as sauce, you can also buy it in a dried powdered form, like ras-el-hanout.

We recommend using the sauce version as a topping for grilled meat, potatoes or even as a dip alongside bread. The dried version is great for marinating fish, meat or halloumi as it holds up much better. Like many of the sauces and spices we use in-house, the ingredients very much depend on the recipe. Our harissa includes rose petals, which give a floral balance to the spice of the chilli.

Next time you’re looking for something new to try, give our harissa a go alongside your favourite grill!

BABA harissa recipe

Harissa recipe

Makes 600g


300g deseeded red chilli, roughly chopped
30g minced garlic
50ml olive oil
9g coriander seeds
9g caraway seeds
9g cumin seeds
120g tomato purée
9g salt
Two lemons, juice only
15g fresh coriander
120ml olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Pinch of dried rose petals


1.Heat a frying pan over medium heat and add the 50ml of olive oil and chilli, then sauté for 10 minutes.
2. While the chilli is cooking, heat a dry frying pan over a medium-low heat and toast the seeds until fragrant. Then crush, using a pestle and mortar.
3. Once the chilli is cooked, add the minced garlic and then sauté until just turning brown.
4. Add the crushed seeds and the tomato purée and continue to sauté for another few minutes.
5. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly, then add lemon juice and chopped fresh coriander and 60ml of olive oil.
6. Add ingredients from the pan to a food processor and blend until a paste has formed.
7. Stir in the remaining olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.

You can store the harissa in a sterilised jar for up to a month in the fridge. For a longer lasting sauce, remove the fresh coriander and increase the dried coriander seeds.