Hibiscus and Romano pepper Harissa

Chilies and hibiscus

There are different ways to brighten up a grey day and mine was absolutely made better by a fantastic goodybag from a friend. It was filled with different kinds of dried chillies!

I unpacked them and immediately thought of making an harissa. Until a few weeks ago I had never made my own harissa. I did a burnt chilli green harissa and when I got the dried chillies I knew I wanted to use them to make another kind.

There was a bag of dried hibiscus flowers with the chillies so I thought I would use them instead of rose petals for a flowery note.


I got some Romano peppers from the green grocers. I love peppers and Romano peppers are absolutely delicious and I knew I had the last ingredient for my new harissa.


Hibiscus and Romano pepper Harissa

preparation time 5 minutes

cooking time about 15-20 minutes + 30 minutes resting

oven turn the grill on highest

serves makes about 2 dl or 1 cup


  • 1 Ancho chile
  • 1 Mulato Chile
  • 1 Guajillo Chile
  • 1 fresh Cayenne
  • 6 Romano peppers
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 dl dried Hibiscus flowers
  • 1/2 dl white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 dl olive oil
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp sumac
  • 1/2 dl soaking water
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 lime, juice

Soak the dried chillies and Hibiscus flowers for a minimum of 20 minutes in water and give them a rough chop.


Chilies and hibiscus


Cut the romano peppers in half and remove the core and seeds. Place them skin side up on an oven roasting tray, under the grill and roast until they start to go black. Remove them from the heat and place under a kitchen towel until they cool down. You can also wrap them in clingfilm, the steam created will make it easier to remove the skin.


roasted romano peppers


Remove the dried, soaked chilies from the water. Save the water and remove the core. The core of one of the chillies looked a bit like an alien, I couldn’t resist taking a photo.


Chilli core


Place all of the ingredients in a pan and cook for 15-20 minutes. Add more soaking water if it gets too thick. Rest for 30 minutes for the flavors to come together.

Place everythign in a blender and blend until fairly smooth before placing the harissa in sterilized jars.


Hibiscus Harissa

Hibiscus Harissa


Add olive oil on top and and close the jar.

If you don’t use all of it in one go add more oil on top to keep the harissa fresh.


Most harissa has rose in them instead of hibiscus but I prefer the flavor of hibiscus, it works so well with the chiles.

I used it with chicken, a classic, I mixed it with a little more oil and roasted vegetables, I mixed some with butter and had it with steak, the possibilities are endless.


This week I am co hosting the always lovely Angie’s Fiesta Friday with

the very talented Zeba, Food For the Soul, let’s party!









23 Responses to “Hibiscus and Romano pepper Harissa”
  1. mistimaan says:

    Looks too good

  2. This good so good Petra, I love the peppers and how it all came together. I also use Hibiscus flowers instead of rose in my dry harissa mix and it was really good, I think it’s on my blog. Happy Co-hosting!

  3. A nice take on harissa Petra! Luckily, I have all of the ingredients readily to hand 🙂

  4. This looks so incredibly good! I’ve used harissa, but I need to find hibiscus.

    • petra08 says:

      Last time I bought it I believe was in a Middle Eastern store, failing that perhaps online?
      I hope you find it and give it a go 🙂 x

  5. Laura says:

    Wow Petra – ancho and mulato I am familiar with so I can imagine how good this tasted!

  6. You always come up with the most incredible recipes, for anything! Btw, what is that? Alien’s brain?! Lol… Thanks for cohosting!!

    • petra08 says:

      hi Angie
      Thank you, ha ha what a lovely comment! Perhaps an overactive brain, focused on food! Thank you for having me as a co host and creating the amazing Fiesta Friday 🙂 x

  7. nancyc says:

    I’ve never made this–it sounds great!

    • petra08 says:

      hi Nancy
      Thank you, making my own harissa was a revelation and I couldn’t stop adding it to pretty much everything 🙂

  8. Sandhya says:

    Wow Petra! That gorgeous color says it all! I am so inspired to make harissa now. I have not used hibiscus in my cooking so this is new to me. Thanks for sharing!

    • petra08 says:

      hi Sandhya
      I have to admit I never made my own harissa before and didn’t realise how easy it was. I find that hibiscus has a distinct but delicious flavor and it was great in the harissa! I hope you give it a try 🙂 x

  9. Wow, Petra – this is a crazy mix up and sounds/looks so amazing! Sumac isn’t something i generally think about using.I can imagine it in here, though!

    • petra08 says:

      Hi Mollie
      Thank you! I only started using sumac about a year ago or so and now I can’t stop! ha ha it is wonderful sprinkled on things like garlic bread, hummus on top of cheese before it is melted… ok I will stop now 🙂 x

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  1. […] to: Fiesta Friday #216; Petra at Food Eat Love; Zeba at Food for the […]

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