Some Like It Hot: Harif / Harissa


Harif (Hebrew – means “sharp”) or Harissa (Arabic) is our Red Hot Sauce. Chili Arbol gives it its red color. It is fiery but flavorful.

I make my sauce in a VitaMix, which blends it a little more than the traditional methods, giving it a beautiful burnt orange color. I usually soak the peppers overnight before blending, but on a recent occasion I forgot to pre-soak them and found that I could accomplish almost the same thing by covering them with water in a pot, bringing it to a boil and letting them sit for 20-30 minutes.

(Makes 1 pint)


  • Chili Arbol, Dried, 1 Qt., soaked and drained
  • Garlic, 2 TB
  • Sea salt, 1 tsp
  • Coriander, 2 tsp
  • Caraway, 2 tsp
  • Extra virgin olive oil, 1 cup


  1. Soak chilis overnight in a quart container filled to the top with chilis & water. Drain and squeeze. Alternatively, place dried chilis in a saucepan, cover with water, bring to a boil, turn off heat and let sit for 20-30 minutes, drain and squeeze.
  2. Add extra virgin olive oil to VitaMix.
  3. Put garlic into VitaMix (2 TB chopped or a small handful).
  4. Add soaked and squeezed chilis.
  5. Add all seasonings.
  6. Run VitaMix until tangerine colored paste is achieved. May have to push material into blades until all is pulled into the vortex.
  7. Scrape bowl as thoroughly as possible into a 1 pint – 1 quart container.
  8. Wash VitaMix bowl by filling 2/3 with hot water and adding a small drop of dish soap and blending. This will remove all hot sauce from the blades.

Ideas? Would like to hear from you!