Hands up who loves spice? Me! I sprinkle dried chilli flakes into most of our dinners whether its fajitas, chicken shish kebabs or homemade meatballs. So, in a quest to take my tastebuds to a new level, I recently experimented with making my own chilli paste recipe.
Whether mixed into sauces or used as a condiment, this chilli paste recipe has Puppy Daddy’s official seal of approval – which basically means it’s amazing. It’s hot, warming and filled with punchy flavour. Plus it requires just a handful of ingredients to make. The most important thing to remember when getting this paste right? Choosing the best possible chillies for YOUR taste. So whether you’re into smoky, hot chipotle chillies, or the milder sweet ancho chilli, you’ll get a flavourful paste you’ll use time again.
Here’s a brief guide to choosing your chillies…
- Aji Amarillo
- Aji Panca
In Brighton, there’s this amazing chilli shop. It’s filled with sauces, powders, jams, pickles and dried chillies. It’s painted bright yellow and as you walk through the door this warm, spicy smell hits you. There’s row after row of amazing chilli produce; bags of crimson red powders, jars filled with hearty chutneys and packages of spicy peanuts and Bombay mix. Not to mention bunches of various blackened, dried chillies. It’s a treasure trove for the foodie who appreciates a little (or big) kick to their food.
In the shop I picked up a bag of New Mexican Red Chillies. They’re sweet, medium-heat chillies with plenty of flavour and wow do they make a great paste.
So here’s my homemade chilli paste recipe. Feel free to adapt this by using your own choice of chilli depending on your spice threshold. This takes around an hour and a half to mix up and lasts around a month in a sterilised jar. So far, I’ve mixed a teaspoon of mine into a massaman curry and also used it as a marinade with some chicken thighs. I also plan on stirring the chilli paste through some fresh rigatoni and sprinkling with flakes of tangy parmesan for a quick dinner too. It’s so versatile, I promise, you’ll love it!
Here’s how it’s done…
25g Dried chillies
2 Tbs olive oil
1 ½ Tbs white sugar
1 Tbs tomato puree
First, rehydrate your dried chillies. Chop them up into chunks with scissors and place them into a bowl and cover with warm water. Leave them for around an hour until they have softened up and the water has turned a deep, smoky red. Once ready, drain the chillies but reserve a few tablespoons of the water. You can either throw away the rest or keep it in the fridge; it’s great added to a chilli con carne or pulled pork dish.
Chop up your onion and add it, along with the sugar and your now rehydrated chillies, into the food processor. Add a few tablespoons of the chilli water you’ve just soaked the chillies in too. This will help loosen the mix up while it blends. I use this hand blender I’ve had for ages. It saves washing out my big food processor and is really powerful for such a little device.
Whizz it all up into a smoot-ish paste. I still like to see the chilli seeds flecked through the red sauce so I only pulse mine for a little while.
Now heat some oil in a pan and fry off the chilli paste on a high heat. Add the tomato puree and let it sizzle away for five minutes. Now reduce the heat and let it simmer for an hour or so, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. The smell is insane!
Once a deep red, aromatic paste, pour the chilli paste into a clean, air-tight container and allow it to cool before storing it in the fridge.
To make more of this chilli paste recipe simple double the quantities of everything! It’s so simple and so delicious. All the while this magic is happening in the kitchen, Leni chills in the lounge. I think she’s got more of a sweet tooth kinda gal…
Until next time,