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close up of rose harissa on burlap in brown bowl

Rose Harissa

This brick red spice paste mellowed by a touch of rose will become your favorite kitchen condiment. And if you have Ottolenghi's SIMPLE cookbook, now you can find one of his must-have ingredients - rose harissa.
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Condiment
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Servings 8
Calories 32 kcal


  • 4 Dried chili de arbol rehydrated
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil divided use
  • 2 serrano chilies chopped and seeded (preferable to use Fresno Chilies if you can find them)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon rose petals
  • 1 teaspoon rose water
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons shallot rough chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic rough chopped
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Pinch of sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt


  • Fry coriander, cumin, caraway in 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium-high heat until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Remove spices and reserve oil. Grind spices with rose petals with a mortar and pestle or in a spice grinder. Add smoked paprika.
    spices in mortar and pestle
  • Heat reserved olive oil and 1 tablespoon olive oil in the same skillet until very hot. Add shallot, garlic and Serrano or Fresno chilis and hydrated chili de arbol. Saute until golden.
  • Place sauteed mixture, remaining olive oil, spices, tomato paste, lemon juice, rose water, pinch of sugar and salt in a blender or food processor. Process until smooth. Add additional salt and rose water, if needed.
    angle shot of harissa in brown bowl on burlap
  • Store in the refrigerator in a glass jar with a layer of olive oil
    poured over the top, if desired.


Serving: 2tablespoonCalories: 32kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 1gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 179mgPotassium: 84mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 410IUVitamin C: 7.3mgCalcium: 9mgIron: 0.5mg
Keyword condiment, North African cuisine, spice sauce
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