Help me replicate this harissa!
June 11, 2013 6:16 PM   Subscribe

I love, love, love Mustapha's harissa, but sadly it no longer seems to be available, and hasn't been for some time. I have tried other harissas (Mina, Moulin Mahjoub) and they are not nearly as delicious. Is there anything else like it?

I really have three questions.

1. Is there another commercially available harissa that is equally (and similarly) delicious?

2. Can I make this particular harissa? I have made harissa paste before - it turned out sort of OK, but nothing like Mustapha's, which is the closest thing to the harissa I had in Morocco. If you have replicated this kind of harissa, do tell. I am a pretty good cook with access to pretty much any ingredient.

3. OK, this is a "can I eat this" - while moving, I discovered an unopened, sealed jar of Mustapha's harissa...that expired in 2010. Oops. But um - can I eat this? (I know the answer is probably no. But I had to ask.)
posted by goodbyewaffles to Food & Drink (6 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I have not tried this recipe, but it was imbedded in an article about Mustapha's Harissa at
posted by michellenoel at 6:39 PM on June 11, 2013

1) The only harissa I'm familiar with is this one. I actually have a tube but can't quite figure out who makes it, so I'm not sure if it's one of the brands you mentioned, and I have no idea if the flavor profile* matches yours.

I have easy access to it, and a tube is around two bucks, so if you want to try it I'd be happy to send you one.

3) If the jar is sealed I would open it and see if it "pops". If it doesn't, don't eat it! If it does, I'd post a "Can I eat it?" question next week. I'm usually in the "eat it" camp, but there may be specific reasons why this would be a bad idea.

*I can't believe I used the phrase "flavor profile".
posted by Room 641-A at 7:25 PM on June 11, 2013

I'm no expert, but I've been happy with Dea harissa.
posted by Xalf at 2:51 AM on June 12, 2013

While I've never had that particular brand, I've been happy with adapting a recipe from The Scent of Orange Blossoms by Kitty Morse: Puree 1 roasted red pepper, 4 garlic cloves, juice of 1/2 a lemon, 2 tsp cumin, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 cup olive oil and 8-16 dried chiles soaked for 30 minutes. If I'm in a rush cayenne works pretty well, as well as adding a few semi-dried tomatoes if I have them. The ingredients for Mustapha's include preserved lemon, which you can also make...
posted by poodelina at 6:19 AM on June 12, 2013

Oh, one thing you could also try with making your own is adjusting the kinds of chiles you use. That can definitely affect the flavor in addition to the spiciness.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:22 AM on June 12, 2013

Response by poster: Thank you guys for your suggestions! I have sampled, but nothing is quite the same as Mustapha's.

For the future reference of other harissa-eaters: if you happen to live in Chicago, the next-best thing to Mustapha's is the harissa at Middle East Bakery (at Foster & Ashland) - a place I shop all the time, but I'd never realized they had harissa until Chowhound informed me. This does not help if you are not local, but JUST IN CASE, now you know where a good substitute can be found. It's a little sweeter and less spicy than Mustapha's, but it's close enough.
posted by goodbyewaffles at 3:35 PM on June 27, 2013

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