Rose harissa paste: RECIPE

A few years ago I wrote a recipe for a North African hot chilli paste called harissa which was served with cumin-flavoured lamb koftas.

Monday, 15th July 2019, 4:09 pm
Updated Thursday, 18th July 2019, 4:42 pm
Rose harissa paste by Lawrence Murphy.
Rose harissa paste by Lawrence Murphy.

I have tried different versions of this paste but by adding the perfumed petals of rose the flavour always evokes exotic memories of Tunisia.

I find that using dried petals and dried chilli seeds gives this accompaniment a great whoosh of flavour, which I adore.

It still works wonderfully with lamb or any meat charred on a griddle pan or barbecue, but you should try it with some prawns or monkfish.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

If you are vegetarian then this spiced sauce is fabulous with aubergine and cauliflower that’s been cooked on a smokey barbecue.

If you find the harissa too strong, add yoghurt to cool it. 


2 red peppers roasted, deseeded and peeled

3 cloves garlic finely chopped

Tspn tomato paste

Dstspn dried rose petals

Dstspn dried chilli flakes

Tspn cumin seed

1/2 teaspoon fennel seed

50 ml olive oil


1. Toast the cumin and fennel seed in a dry pan so they become aromatic and allow to cool.

2. Grind the seeds and then add to a liquidiser with all the other ingredients.

3. Blend the ingredients together to form a paste – taste and season with sea salt. 

4. It is now ready to use or store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 7 days.