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Harissa: Your New, Healthier Hot Sauce

by The GreenJinn Team

August 06, 2019


You’re going to see harissa everywhere pretty soon – a Tunisian chilli paste made from red peppers, garlic, coriander and a ton of other fantastically fragrant flavours, all mixed together with oil.

This spicy blend is set to take over the condiment game (move over hot sauce!). So, get ahead of the curve and spice up your sauce game 🌶️

Here’s why harissa deserves a place in your fridge.

5 Health benefits of harissa you’ve been missing out on

1. Speeds up metabolism

Spicy food boosts your metabolism.

A compound called capsaicin, is one of the most effective metabolism boosters. It’s found in red chillis – one of the main ingredients of harissa.

The spice-induced metabolic boost can temporarily increase metabolism by around 8%.

This means that you’ll burn more calories immediately following your meal.

2. Source of vitamins and minerals

Harissa paste is crammed with vitamins and minerals. This includes vitamin E, vitamin C, vitamin B6 iron, manganese, copper, and vitamin K.

All these nutrients come purely from harissa’s natural ingredients – no added anything!

3. Lowers Blood Pressure

According to one study, capsaicin makes blood vessels relax, which could lower blood pressure.

Capsaicin was shown to increase the production of nitric oxide in rats – nitric oxide protects blood vessels against inflammation.

Whilst this does not guarantee the same results in humans, it could be worth a try if you suffer from high blood pressure.

4. Low in calories

Harissa only has 46 calories per tbsp.

It also contains very little fat and carbohydrates and has no sugar.

So, you can get dipping, glazing and drizzling without having to worry too much about calorie consumption.

5. Packed with antioxidants

Harissa’s ingredients include onions garlic, pepper and olive oil, all of which are sources of antioxidants.

Antioxidants are substances that protect cells in your body from free radical damage.

Free radicals are waste substances produced by cells, which can harm your cells and body function if not removed effectively.

Oxidative stress (the strain free radicals put on your cells) has been linked to heart disease, cancer, arthritis and strokes.

Harissa tastes delicious as a sauce and in your cooking

Harissa tastes similar to Sriracha and other chilli-based sauce.

It’s not just a condiment though.

Harissa can be used in your everyday cooking to spice things up! It works best with north african style food such as spiced lamb dishes.

We recommend adding harissa to your hummus, stews or even sandwiches.

Quick and easy harissa recipe

You can whip up your own harissa at home in 10 minutes.

It’s cheap, tasty and keeps for up to 3 weeks!


  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 red chilli, roughly diced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cumin (ground)
  • 1 tsp coriander (ground)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 lemon juice


  1. Throw all of the ingredients into a blender and process until it forms a smooth mixture.
  2. Place in an air-tight container and store in the fridge.