What Is the Greatest Replacement for Harissa?

Rate this post

Harissa is a spice mixture made out of roasted peppers, caraway seeds, baklouti peppers, coriander seeds, olive oil, and cumin. This spice combination originated in Tunisia, North Africa, and the first canned version was manufactured in 1948. If you’re seeking for a harissa substitution, there are a few options.

In North African nations such as Tunisia, Morocco, and Algeria, it is a frequent component in stews and curries. It’s spicy, smokey, and somewhat sweet, and it goes well with fries.

In this post, we’ll look at the several ingredients that may be used as a replacement for harissa, as well as how to utilize them.

What Is Harissa?

The term harissa comes from the Arabic word harassa, which meaning “to pound.” As early as the 7th century, the name harassa refers to porridges prepared from spices and pounded wheat. Baklouti pepper, a key component in harissa, is farmed in Tunisia’s Maghreb area.

This paste is used as a spicy seasoning in stews and curries. Rose harissa is created by combining this spice with a combination of rose petals. The spice is sometimes combined with yogurt and tahini to form a dip for pitas, falafel, and other foods.

Because of its similar qualities, it is often used to replace paprika or berbere when a recipe asks for them.

Harissa has a Scoville rating of 1,000 to 5,500, making it moderate like jalapeos but milder than serrano peppers.

Harissa Substitute

Here is a list of fantastic harissa substitutions that will offer your food the same taste, heightened spiciness, or balanced heat. When a recipe asks for harissa, a substitute is always accessible. As a result, locating a suitable replacement is simple.

1. Sriracha

Sriracha, often known as rooster sauce, is an excellent substitute for harissa. Sriracha has a Scoville value ranging from 1,000 to 2,500. It is somewhat lower than the heat range available from harissa.

It is, however, sweeter than harissa since sugar is one of the substances used in its preparation. Although baklouti peppers are utilized in harissa, the major component in sriracha is chili peppers. Yet, it is an excellent harissa alternative when you want your dish to be less spicy.

At a 1:1 ratio, it may be used to substitute harissa in a recipe. It’s also great as a condiment or dipping sauce.

2. Tabasco Sauce

This sauce is nearly 150 years old and may be used in equal amounts to replace harissa. To make your stews or curries hotter, add tabasco sauce.

Tabasco sauce comes in a variety of flavors, ranging from mild to fiery. Nevertheless, tabasco sauce has a Scoville value ranging from 100 to 7,000 units. As a result, it is usually hotter than what you would get with harissa. As a result, tabasco sauce will almost always raise the spicy level of your food.

3. Tabil

Tabil is a spice blend with components comparable to harissa. And it’s from Tunisia as well. This spice combination has a comparable level of intensity as harissa. It also works well as a replacement for harissa in stews, bakes, dips, and as a topping.

It’s so sweet and wonderful that you may want to add a spoonful to everything you make. Yet, it should be remembered that garlic is one of the key elements of tabil. As a result, if you dislike garlic, this may not be the greatest replacement for you.

You may replace one tablespoon of tabil for one tablespoon of harissa in your recipe.

4. Sambal Oelek

Simply put, sambal oelek is Indonesian meaning ground chili sauce. Sambal oelek generally has a Scoville heat unit value of about 3,000. It suggests it’s a little spicier than harissa paste.

Sambal oelek is somewhat sweet yet quite hot. When seeking for a little additional spice, it’s often used as a replacement for harissa. When used as a replacement for harissa, however, its taste alters.

Harissa has a warm, earthy flavor because to the cumin and nutmeg. Since chile is the main component in sambal oelek, it is mostly hot. But, you may use sambal oelek for harissa in your recipe at a 1:1 ratio.

5. Berbere

This spice combination is called after the Berber people of Ethiopia, where it originated.

Berbere has a Scoville heat unit value of 30,000 to 50,000. It indicates it’s a lot spicier than harissa. Yet, the many components used to make it give it a range of tastes.

If you are sensitive to garlic, ginger, or fenugreek, you should avoid this harissa replacement. If not, use it in equal parts as a harissa substitute for a dip or topping.

6. Gochujang

This fermented pepper sauce from Korea has been used since the 17th century.

With a Scoville value of less than 1,000, gochujang is less hot than harissa. It has a modest sweetness from the fermenting process and is mildly salty, peppery, and spicy. This sauce is minimal in fat and cholesterol-free, however it does include some sugar.

A tablespoon of gochujang may be used in place of one tablespoon of harissa.


You may dislike harissa, or you may have ran out of it and your recipe requires it. Maybe you only want to change the amount of heat in the dish by changing the harissa. In any case, you’ll discover an outstanding harissa alternative on our list that will be ideal for your dish.


What can I use instead of harissa paste not spicy?

Sambal oelek is an excellent replacement since it is made entirely of chilies with a tiny bit of vinegar, water, and salt. Since it is more neutral than harissa, your dish may not have the same spicy subtlety.

Is there a mild version of harissa?

A HARISSA SAUCE FOR EVERYONE: Mina Mild Harissa Sauce makes this distinctive taste accessible to everybody with a gentler bite. Harissa is a chili paste spicy sauce frequently used in Moroccan cuisine. It may be used in cooking or as a condiment, sauce, spread, topping, or dip.

Is harissa similar to paprika?

Harissa is most frequently found as a paste or sauce, although it is also available as a powdered spice combination. Ground spicy peppers, cayenne pepper, paprika, caraway seeds, coriander, and cumin are used to make the spice mix. The taste profile is the same as the paste or sauce, but in a dry spice mix.

Is harissa similar to Cayenne?

Harissa is created using little red peppers, cayenne pepper, vegetables, canola oil, garlic, herbs like coriander and mint, spices like caraway, and up to twenty more spices. Harissa is really hot.

Can I use curry paste instead of harissa?

If you don’t have harissa and need an alternative, red curry paste may work in an emergency, but it will change the taste character of the meal. It will provide some heat and spicy, but not the smokiness and depth of harissa.

What can I use instead of harissa at Chipotle?

If you want a mild, smokey taste, use ancho chilis; if you want a smoky flavor with a little more spice, use chipotle. Use guajillo chiles for a sweeter taste, but Thai chilies if you want your harissa to be really spicy.

Does Trader Joe’s have harissa?

Authentic Tunisian Harissa Hot Chili Pepper Paste With Herbs & Spices, 6 oz Jar, Trader Joe’s (Single)

Is harissa hotter than sriracha?

The heat between these two is the same empirically, but since harissa is a paste consisting mostly of crushed peppers, it might seem hotter than sriracha sauce. Harissa distinguishes out for its addition of pepper with this sriracha alternative since it lacks syrupy sweetness and has a more earthy taste from the herbs.

Is harissa similar to garam masala?

Returning to Harissa, it is simply a red chili paste that is popular in Tunisian and Moroccan cuisines. It combines the flavors of Sriracha, Tandoori Masala, and Garam Masala into one harmonious whole.

Can I substitute chili powder for harissa?

Chili Powder No. 2

Chili powder is frequently used as a culinary flavoring, but it may also be used in place of harissa powder.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *