A huge surplus of chillies in the garden has inspired a new food crush. Roasted chilli paste. To be honest, I could almost say that my fling with this chilli paste has stretched a little further…I’ve become slightly infatuated. Ok, lets be frank…I’m completely, totally, irrevocably and uncontrollably in love with this chilli paste.
So far I have fully exhausted our homegrown chillies and I’ve been forced to buy chillies from the local grocery store to feed my addiction. And unashamedly, the obsession is beginning to spread amongst my friends and family, which is not such a bad thing considering they contain amazingly high levels of vitamins and minerals and are well known for their disease preventing and health promoting properties.
I realised when I set out to create a purely amazing chilli paste recipe I was stepping on very sacred ground…on ground that has been treaded over by generations of specialty chilli growers and cooks all over the world, a path carefully laden with recipes secretly entrusted through generations. Arrogant enough to try and master my own original chilli paste (a first timer with no secret family recipe and almost no experience) I felt almost like an intruder on the path as I stepped into my kitchen. But honestly, I think I did it. And there’s no secrets. I’m giving it to you (cause your all family after all!).
- About 20 red cayenne chillies (this is a particularly tasty but mildly hot chilli about the length of your index finger and glossy red. If you cant find or grow them you can use any mild red chilli).
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1 Tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 Tbsp coriander seeds
- 1 large knob of russian garlic, cut in half
- 3 Heaped Tbsp coconut or rapadura sugar
- 1 level Tbsp ground yellow mustard seed
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- A dash of apple cider vinegar
- A dash of water
Since my first tentative step this roasted chilli paste has been making its way into all varieties of dishes. Its possible I’ve even earnt a little space on the sacred ground of unbelievably, amazingly yummy chilli-paste perfection (eeep…am I allowed to say that?). Regardless, I now use a spoonful in almost all my bean dishes, curries, dips and salad dressings (and its totally mind blowing spread over sourdough with nut butter or goats cheese). I used the juice of one lemon, one lime, a lashing of olive oil and a tablespoon of chilli paste (shaken in a jar) to dress the lentil salad pictured above and have since repeated the idea with quinoa and kale salads and rice-pasta dishes. It adds heat, depth of flavour and spunk to just about everything I put it in. Its so entirely delicious, simple to make and so worth while having a jar full of in the fridge. AND it warms the belly on these chilly winter days and boosts the body with incredible immune-boosting, intestinal parasite clearing, tongue tingling goodness AND is the perfect way to use a surplus of chillies. Ok, so now I’m rambling. Sorry, I’m in love.