|Place of origin||Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Libya|
|Region or state||Maghreb|
|Main ingredients||Red peppers|
|Ingredients generally used||Baklouti pepper|
Harissa (Arabic: هريسة harīsa, from Maghrebi Arabic) is a North African hot chili pepper paste, the main ingredients of which are roasted red peppers, Baklouti (بقلوطي) peppers or serrano peppers, spices and herbs such as garlic paste, caraway seeds, coriander seeds, cumin and olive oil to carry the oil-soluble flavors. Rose harissa, made with rose petals, is also available.
Recipes for harissa vary according to the household and region. Variations can include the addition of fermented onions or lemon juice. Prepared harissa is sold in jars, cans, bottles and tubes. Harissa is sometimes described as "Tunisia's main condiment", even "the national condiment of Tunisia", or at least as "the hallmark of Tunisia's fish and meat dishes". In Tunisia, harissa is used as an ingredient in a meat (poultry, beef, goat, or lamb) or fish stew with vegetables, and as a flavoring for couscous. It is also used for lablabi, a chickpea soup usually eaten for breakfast.
In 2006, the Tunisian production of harissa was 22,000 tonnes, incorporating about 40,000 tonnes of peppers. Tunisian harissa is often made with chilis grown around Nabeul and Gabès, which are relatively mild, scoring 40,000–50,000 on the Scoville scale.
In Algeria, harissa is commonly added to soups, stews, and couscous. Harissa paste can also be used as a rub for meat or eggplants. Another significant producer is Algeria's Annaba Province, which is also a significant consumer. According to cookbook author Martha Rose Shulman, premade harissa tastes rather different from that which is served in Tunisian and expatriate restaurants.
Filfel chuma (Hebrew: פלפלצ'ומה), also spelled pilpelshuma (pepper garlic), is the typical chili sauce of Libyan Jewish cuisine which is very similar to the harissa. It comes from the Libyan cuisine, where it is known as maseer (Arabic: المصير or مسّير حار mseyer). It is also known by other names such as filfil mukhalal (فلفل مخلل) and filfil makbos (فلفل مكبوس). It is made from powdered sweet and hot peppers and crushed garlic. Other ingredients, such as ground caraway seeds, cumin, lemon juice, and salt are sometimes added.
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- How to make Libyan maseer
- North African hot recipes
- How to prepare mseyer in the Libyan cuisine