Category Archives: Tunisian

Tunisian Chili | Lamb, Chickpeas, Harissa

One more candidate for the Chili and Stout pot luck – this Tunisian lamb and chickpea chili.

My usual statement about Middle Eastern items apply to this post as well. This recipe uses Harissa, which is a well-known spice paste used across the Middle East and Northern Africa. Its probably better not to ask for its origins or ‘official’ recipe. If you do, you’re intentionally subjecting yourself to endless diatribe and you won’t get a reasonable answer.


  • 1 16oz bag dried chickpeas
  • 3 T Harissa
  • 1 t Chicken Stock
  • 4 C Water

Soak chickpeas overnight in a couple of cups of water. Strain. Toss the chickpeas and other ingredients into a slow cooker on high for about 2-3 hours, strain and reserve in the fridge.

TunisianChili-1 TunisianChili-2


  • 1/2 – 1 lb Ground Lamb
  • 1/2 – 1 lb Ground Turkey
  • 2-3 C Harissa Spiked Chickpeas
  • 1 Purple Onion, chopped
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
  • 4 Roma Tomatoes, chopped
  • 6 Garlic Cloves, chopped
  • 2 T Cilantro, chopped
  • 2 T Mint, chopped
  • 3 T Harissa
  • 3 T Olive Oil
  • 1 t Salt
  • 1 t Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/4 – 1/2 t Cinnamon

In a large pan over medium-high heat add the olive oil. Add onions, saute until golden, about 5-7 minutes. Add bell pepper and garlic, sautee another 2-3 minutes. Add ground meats, stirring and breaking apart until the meat is no longer red. Add tomato, saute for another few minutes, until tomatoes release their juices. Reduce to low, add salt, pepper, cinnamon, harissa, and chickpeas. Cover and cook for 30 minutes. Uncover, add mint and cilantro. Cook uncovered for an additional 10-15 minutes or until desired consistency.


Good and definitely different for a chili.

Usually I make my own harissa but I had time constraints so I bought some from our middle eastern grocery. It was ok in a pinch but the brand I used had less of a lemon flavour than I’m used to. Also, the paprika flavour was not a prominent nor as hot as my scratch version. Next time I’ll either make my own or add an additional tablespoon of lemon zest and hot paprika to the mix.