The perfect balance of spicy and sweet, this harissa honey sauce is loaded with layers and depth of flavor from the spices, rose water, and lime. This versatile harissa recipe is slightly sweet, smoky, tangy, and just enough spicy but not too hot.
The sauce is so much more than a sauce – it can be a marinade, a flavor enhancer to dips and other dishes, the perfect thing to drizzle on pizza or any meal, a fantastic condiment and so much more.
The harissa itself is a spicy red pepper sauce from North Africa that has hints of sweetness from the peppers and smokiness. To amp up all the flavors Harissa holds I added floral honey, loads of warm earthy spices, and a refreshing tang of lime.
Harissa Honey Ingredients
- Harissa Paste – A fiery red pepper paste originating from North Africa, harissa is known for its bold, spicy flavor. It often contains a blend of roasted red peppers, chili peppers, garlic, olive oil, and various spices. One of my favorite brands that keeps it very minimal yet flavorful is Mina for harissa.
- Honey – adds a floral sweetness to balance the spiciness of harissa, contributing to a harmonious flavor profile. My favorite types of honey are orange blossom or wildflower and I highly recommend using locally-made honey always
- Ground Cumin – A warm and earthy spice with a slightly nutty flavor. Cumin adds depth to the sauce and complements the other spices, enhancing the overall complexity of the flavor.
- Coriander – Coriander is both an herb and a spice, with citrusy, slightly sweet, and nutty notes. In the sauce, coriander contributes to the warm and aromatic character.
- Rose Water: adds a floral and subtly sweet essence to the sauce, enhancing its aromatic profile.
- Za’atar: A Middle Eastern spice blend often containing thyme, oregano, sumac, and sesame seeds. Za’atar adds a unique herbal and tangy flavor, contributing to the overall complexity of the sauce.
- Smoked Paprika: enhances the sauce with a hint of smokiness.
- Sumac: A reddish-purple spice with a tangy and lemony flavor. Sumac adds a refreshing and citrusy element to the sauce, balancing the richness of other ingredients.
- Salt: A fundamental seasoning that enhances the flavors of the other ingredients. It helps balance the sweetness, spiciness, and acidity in the sauce.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil: High-quality olive oil with a rich, fruity flavor. It adds a smooth and luscious texture to the sauce while enhancing the overall depth of taste.
- Lime: Both the zest and juice of lime contribute a bright and citrusy flavor, adding a refreshing element to the sauce. Lime also enhances the overall balance and freshness.