Manzano Harissa

Manzano peppers are apple shaped and medium spicy with a hint of fruit. Harissa is a spicy northern African condiment usually made with red or green chilies. Instead of roasting the yellow pepper, I remove the skin with a vegetable peeler. Yes, it's one more step but worth the effort! I find my manzano peppers at the Mexican markets in Tucson and make this Harissa seasonally when I am there. If you cannot find Manzano peppers, a good substitute for the harissa would be 3 yellow peppers and 1 habanero pepper.

Manzano Harissa

Heat the avocado oil in a large skillet over medium heat, add the yellow pepper, manzano, shallot and garlic and sauté for 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.

Add the cooked peppers, lemon juice, salt, ras el hanout, coriander and turmeric to a high speed blender and purée until smooth, adding a little more oil, if needed. Taste and adjust the salt, if necessary.

Store in a  sterilized jar in the refrigerator for 2 weeks. Alternatively, freeze the harissa in ice cube trays and store the cubes in ziplock bags in the freezer.


makes 2 cups


  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 medium yellow pepper, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 4 manzano chiles, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup shallot, peeled and coarsely chopped 
  • 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp Ras El Hanout
  • ¼ tsp ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp turmeric