harissa

noun ha·ris·sa \ hə-ˈri-sə \
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of harissa

: a spicy North African paste made from dried chilies, salt, oil, and other seasonings
  • Roast chicken slathered in fiery Moroccan harissa is served with a bright orange dollop of carrot purée …
  • —Margot Dougherty

Origin and Etymology of harissa

borrowed from French & North African Arabic; French harissa, borrowed from North African Arabic harīsa "dish of ground meat and bulgur or couscous, paste made from chili peppers and spices," derivative of Arabic harasa "crush, bruise, pound"


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