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I love bringing a dip and veggies to parties, it’s super easy and people are always happy to have something fresh and healthy-ish to munch on. I normally opt for a classic dill dip recipe, but this harissa yogurt dip is perfect for more adventurous crowds.
Are you new to using harissa? This North African condiment has an amazingly vast flavor profile and can be used in so many different ways!
But with summer here, I really wanted to try a Harissa dipping sauce that I can use with grilled or roasted mains or just for finger food for summer barbeques. And this harissa yogurt dip really hits all the right spots!
What is Harissa?
Harissa is a vibrant and aromatic chili paste that hails from the Maghreb region of North Africa, particularly Tunisia. It is traditionally made by blending hot chili peppers, garlic, olive oil, and a mix of aromatic spices such as cumin, coriander, and caraway.
The result is a thick, red paste with a balance of heat, smokiness, and earthy undertones.
What Does Harissa Taste Like?
The chili peppers give it a fiery kick, but there’s also a hint of sweetness from roasted peppers. The flavors are rounded out with garlic’s pungent notes and the richness of olive oil.
Why You Need to Try This Harissa Yogurt Dip
It’s perfectly balanced. This dip strikes the perfect balance between creamy and spicy. The yogurt adds a cooling effect and velvety texture, while the harissa brings the perfect level of spiciness. And the honey brings just the right amount of sweetness!
It pairs well with pretty much everything. Dunk crunchy pita chips, fresh veggies, or even grilled meats into this simple harissa dip, and you’ll be amazed at how it elevates the flavor of everything it touches. It’s definitely a snack-time game-changer!
It’s quick and easy. This harissa yogurt dip literally takes 5 minutes and one bowl from start to finish.
I use plain full-fat yogurt for this harissa yogurt dip. You can also use greek yogurt or low-fat yogurt. Sour cream will also work if you prefer it to yogurt.
Choose a good quality harissa paste for the best flavor in the harissa yogurt dip. You can easily find harissa in specialty stores or online. I like the Mina brand, which is more of a sauce than a paste, and is available in mild or spicy versions.
Also, start with a smaller quantity when making this recipe. Then, you can add more to your harissa yogurt sauce if you prefer it spicier.
Lemon juice complements the tanginess of yogurt and adds a zing to the dip.
Honey brings a touch of sweetness and helps balance the heat from the harissa. Use a mild-flavored honey that won’t overpower the other flavors.
How to Make Harissa Yogurt Dip
There is only one step in this recipe.
Gather all your ingredients in a smoll bowl and mix well to combine.
Mezze Platter: Serve the harissa yogurt dip alongside fresh veggies like cucumber slices, cherry tomatoes, bell pepper strips, and carrot sticks. Also add some olives, feta cheese cubes, and warm pita bread triangles to complete the platter. It will make for a great appetizer for your next barbeque!
Grilled Meats: Harissa yogurt dip is a great match for chicken kebabs, grilled lamb chops, or even roasted vegetables.
Sandwich Spread: Transform your sandwiches with a spread of Harissa Yogurt Dip. Simply slather it on your favorite bread or wrap, and then layer it with grilled chicken, roasted veggies, fresh greens, and any other fillings you like.
The spiciness of the dip depends on the amount of harissa you add, as well as the brand you use. Taste the harissa first to determine how spicy it is, and start with a small amount of harissa, tasting as you go, gradually adding more if you prefer it spicier.
The dip can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. However, it’s best enjoyed fresh. If the dip becomes too watery after refrigeration, you can give it a stir before serving.
Absolutely! You can make your own harissa paste using a variety of chili peppers, spices, and other flavorings. There are many recipes available online that you can follow to create your homemade harissa paste.
Harissa Yogurt Dip
- ½ cup yogurt
- 1 tablespoon harissa *see note
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon honey
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- cilantro for garnish
- In a small bowl, combine all ingredients until smooth, and serve.