Harissa Carrots

December 22, 2012

I rarely eat carrots. I juice them all the time, but never actually munch on them. I find them to be a little bit...what’s the word I’m looking for? Dull. Yeah, carrots are dull.
Sorry Bugs Bunny, it’s nothing personal. I just hope this won’t get in the way of our friendship that dates back to kindergartner.
Fact is, I don’t really know what to do with carrots besides juices and (rarely) cake. I know, it’s limiting. For years I’ve been stuck in this carrot impasse.
Not until I came across a great recipe for carrots with harissa. An encounter that changed everything.
I believe harissa has finally solved my issues with carrots. I have new buddies, they’re called carrots, and it's all thanks to harissa.
I have some sort of weird adoration for harissa. The brick red, earthy, and (sometimes) potent North African spice paste.
I don’t want to make an ode about harissa. Let me just say that it’s really something. It replaced my piri piri sauce, my salsa picante, even (ouch) Tabasco. I put it on everything. Rice, eggs, meats, veggies and sandwiches. It hasn’t made it on my desserts yet, but knows what the future holds.

Harissa it’s a blend of chiles, spices, garlic and salt. Keep in mind as you head into this recipe that the range of harissas available for purchase is large. Some brands are garlic-y, other tasteless tomato-y, the next unbearably hot. Trust your taste buds.
I buy mine at Sahadi’s in Brooklyn Heights. It has a strong garlic flavor and it’s pretty hot. Not everybody loves it. Especially those wuss that are afraid of strong flavors.
Just find the one to your liking and go for it. Literally don’t hold yourself back. There will be never enough harissa in your life!

Harissa Carrots
Print this Recipe!
Adapted from The Hot & Spicy Cookbook

Serves 6

1 lb / 450 gr carrots
1 clove of garlic, minced
½ teaspoon ground coriander
¼ teaspoon cumin powder
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 heaping tablespoon of harissa sauce
1 tablespoon warm water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons brown sugar (or raw organic honey)
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
fresh chopped parsley


Peel the carrots. Slice them into rounds and cook in a large pot of boiling water until just tender, 10 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to stop cooking. Set aside.
In a small bowl whisk harissa and water until well combined.
Heat the olive oil in a large pan, add the garlic, coriander, and cumin and saute’ for 1 minute until spices are fragrant. Add the diluted harissa, lemon juice, sugar and salt.
Stir in the carrots, cover with a lid and cook for 7 minutes; by which time the liquid will have reduced, the carrots absorbed its flavours and will begin to caramelize. If not, cook them until they start to get brownish and smell like proper caramelized carrots.
Serve warm, sprinkled with chopped fresh parsley. If you’re feeling particularly brave, with a small dollop of harissa on top.

Nutrition facts

One serving of these harissa carrots has 78 calories, 4.6 grams of fat, 10 grams of carbs and 1 gram of protein.

The Iron You


  1. I love harissa. It's so tasty and delicious!

  2. This looks absolutely delicious. I really like the blog - Joined on GFC. :)


  3. Oh man this looks wonderful! I love simple recipes like this. Have you tried making a carrot harrissa? I know a roasted carrot harissa that is excellent for dipping meat or just about anything into. Its basically roasted carrots pureed with numerous dried chillies and spices, it is incredibly good. Thanks for the recipe!

  4. Beautiful pictures! This recipe sounds wonderful: pure and tasty!

  5. Thanks a lot for the recipe. Harissa (I used the powdered variety) makes all the difference - the carrots are really delicious .